“I’m Just Really Busy”
I’m too busy to chit chat with you in the hallway.
I’m too busy to go out for lunch – eating at my desk, or just eating at 4pm is fine.
I’m too busy to pause before I snap at my kid. . .or my spouse.
I’m too busy to look up from my email while I’m responding to your question; it should only take a minute right?
I’m too busy to train you how to do it right – it’s faster for me to just do it.
I’m too busy to respond to your email that you need more information. I’ll respond once I’ve done the research and have an answer for you.
I’m too busy to write this article. . .
Does any of this sound familiar?
Lately I’ve found myself, my friends, and my clients pulled into the cult of “too busy.” It seems temporary at first – just a busy “patch” you need to get through before you breathe more deeply again.
Then you start to realize that the busy patch has become a month, a season, maybe even a year. And sure there were vacations, short pauses where you were able to catch your breath again. But then you arrived back at work and the busy restarted again.
And then, perhaps it feels like you are too busy to even address the problem of being busy. When you have more time to think about it – you’ll figure out what you want to do. .. right?
This would usually be the time in my article when I insert “Dr. Jo’s top 5 ways for dealing with ‘too busy’:”
And really, I’m not too busy to do that. But I too, find myself trapped in the busy cult.
So I won’t advise ––but I will tell you the only things I’ve found that help.
I think the very first thing that you need to do, and I don’t think anything else works until you do this, is to decide deeply within yourself, that it is possible to live another way.
Because trust me, if you think this is just the norm in the 21st century, or this is how everyone lives, or even that busy is the only path to success, you won’t be able to shake it. Almost guaranteed.
But let’s assume, for the sake of moving forward, that you truly, honestly believe, deep down, that there is a better alternative to busy, one that could even be possible for you.
Then you pause. Not just once. Often.
Maybe a few times a day, before each meeting or whenever you go to the bathroom – whatever works as an anchor for you. Maybe there’s even one longer pause in the form of a short meditation. It’s not important what that pause looks like, just that it’s there.
And once you start to sink into those regular pauses, well then that’s the time to ask yourself, “what is the busy replacing right now?”
Sometimes my busy replaces sadness, loneliness, doubt or fear. Sometimes my clients find that the busyness replaces dissatisfaction or even disconnection from others, and from themselves.
(I notice in my kids that busy replaces boredom – what’s so wrong with boredom anyways?)
Because let’s be honest. It’s not easy to feel sad, fearful, or unhappy. You probably would never CHOOSE to feel that way. So perhaps that’s why you’ve chosen busy instead.
Do you know why you are choosing busy?