“How are you doing?”
“Oh, you know…just busy.”
I hate that interactions between people so often start like this. I’m 100 percent guilty of this myself and have consciously committed to keeping the “b-word” out of it when someone asks me how I am.
Staying busy has become a social norm in the modern world, and many people enter the “Who can be the busiest today?” race. Being “busy” is the go-to state of being for many, and I’m setting out on a crusade (dramatic, much?) to change that.
There has never been, and never will be, more than 24 hours in each day. Try as we might, that’s not changing. I’ve always heard that if you don’t like something, you need to change it. If you can’t change it, then you need to change the way you think about it. For those of us that are just “too busy” to look for a better job, just “too busy” to start that new activity, or even just “too busy” to hang out with that college friend, I ask this: Do you really not have enough time, or are you just setting the wrong priorities?
What exactly are you so busy with? Does it make you happy?
Henry David Thoreau said, “It is not enough to be busy. So are the ants. The question is: What are we busy about?” We need to take a good look at ourselves and see what it is that takes up so much of our time. “I don’t have enough time” can just fly off your tongue if you’re not careful.
You want my opinion? It’s an excuse.
Saying “I don’t have enough time” is always going to be a less arduous option than admitting that “it’s not really a priority anymore,” or “I really just don’t like hanging out with you.” It’s just easier.
When you hear yourself say “I’m just so busy,” or “I don’t have enough time,” I challenge you to stop and reflect on what really lies behind that statement. You can improve your relationship with time by taking a look at whether what you are accomplishing in a day, week, or month is a time issue or a priorities issue.
Whether we are busying our schedules with things we don’t really need to, or blaming a lack of time for a shift in our priorities, it’s important to be aware of your relationship with busy. Try not to fall in love with it as I do from time to time.
When all is said and done, what do you want to be remembered for? I don’t want my gravestone to read: “Here lies Sarah. She was really, really busy.” When you get into the busy vortex, remember to check yourself, take a moment to reflect, and avoid making “busy” your state of being. Put yourself in a position that allows you to brag about the fact that all the activities you do on a daily basis are things you truly enjoy.
Don’t let your activities serve the sole purpose of keeping you in the running for the busiest person of the year award.
Because, well… so are the ants.