Are you too busy?

Lately I feel plagued by a group of co-workers. I’ve been letting them get on my last nerve. One of the biggest nerve-pinching things they say over and over and over is “I’m so busy!” “I’m too busy!” “I’m just so busy!” “I’m too busy!” ad infinitum.

Two reasons why I hate this so much: 1.) If you are too busy, something is broken or not right. Something in your process, in your expectations, in your head. (I’ve said this to their faces, I get blank stares). 2.) “Busy” is a concept. It is a narrative you tell yourself over and over until you believe it. I see these coworkers every day. They are not too busy for long lunches and potlucks and lengthy conversations and meetings and blah blah blah. Busy is just the thing we always tell ourselves we are. I hate it! And I don’t want to be guilty of it either. Via Cup of Jo today, I found this WSJ article, which was great.

“Change your language. Instead of saying “I don’t have time” try saying “it’s not a priority,” and see how that feels. Often, that’s a perfectly adequate explanation. I have time to iron my sheets, I just don’t want to. But other things are harder. Try it: “I’m not going to edit your résumé, sweetie, because it’s not a priority.” “I don’t go to the doctor because my health is not a priority.” If these phrases don’t sit well, that’s the point. Changing our language reminds us that time is a choice. If we don’t like how we’re spending an hour, we can choose differently.”