If I asked “How are you?” at this moment, how would you respond?
The answer du jour seems to be “busy” or better yet “so busy”.
When did being busy go from adjective to a state of being? Being “always busy” means it is no longer an exception but the new normal. The lack of sufficient time partially explains the myriads of podcasts, article and books on productivity and time management.
What many of us fail to appreciate is that being busy is a state of mind – rather than something that happens to us.
Stating to someone that you are “busy” means you are acknowledging that you have distractions, anxieties and most likely perpetually behind.
I have often found myself stating that “time is precious” and yet responding to “how are you?” with “busy”.
These are contradictions.
The problem with “busy” as a state of being includes the following:
1) Acknowledging that you are busy causes stress in and of itself. In other words, your brain is “busy”.
2) We use the term to place importance to ourselves. I personally have associated “busy” and “valuable” as synonymous terms.
3) It is a statement to others and ourselves that we don’t have control over our schedule. Outside forces are doing this to us!
One of my goals this year has been to rethink loading my calendar with things that occupy my time but are not productive, strategic or fun! I am coming to terms with the fact that overstuffing my calendar does not validate my worth.
As an individual who likes to say “yes” to as many opportunities as possible I became prey to schedule creep and busyness.
Now I say “heck no” to opportunities that do not elicit enthusiasm, or necessity. Moving on without guilt is hard. The word “no” is deemed by many to be the most underutilized productivity tool available to all of us.
My time is too precious and so is yours!
My new answer to “how are you?” is “wonderful. I have time to exercise, read, meditate and journal and most importantly, think!
Have a great weekend, Karl
"Have you noticed that even the busiest people are never too busy to take time to tell you how busy they are? " Bob Talbert
"Those who are wise won't be busy, and those who are too busy can't be wise.” Lin Yutang