Having finished up the holiday season not long ago, take a minute to think back on the conversations you had with people, especially those who you do not see on the regular. How often was the word “busy” used, either by you or someone you were chatting with?
All too often when faced with the question “How have you been?” or “What have you been up to?,” we immediately respond with the answer “busy” in some sort of context.
I have a question. Can we just stop?
Busy Is As Busy Does
Let’s face it: we’re all busy. Everyone has their own form and definition of busy. Every.single.one.of.us. My busy is probably not the same as your busy, nor is it the same as the mom sitting next to you. We need to stop using busy as a crutch. It’s not a filler in a conversation to try and seem like you’re busier than the person you’re talking to or make an excuse as to why you haven’t called or texted or hung out. It’s not a crutch for why you haven’t taken your kid to the dentist in two years. It’s not a reason for having a messy house. Just stop.
I get it: life is super busy. I have twins in school who are both in a variety of after-school activities. I have a demanding full-time career, my own blog, plus I’m involved with local groups and organizations (including the amazing mom community you’re reading this on) and a husband with a crazy schedule that changes every single week including nights and weekends. Yet, I still manage to pull life together and keep everything running smoothly and try my hardest not to use busy as a crutch in both conversations or as an excuse.
Am I perfect? Heck no. In fact, as I sit writing this, I am six days late for my deadline. Time got away from me with the holidays and New Year, and I was in a total slump getting myself back together again. I’m not making excuses though; I failed. I failed myself, and I failed my team. I don’t take these things lightly. However, at the end of the day, I’ll pick myself up and vow to do better tomorrow.
Evaluate and Prioritize
Instead of telling ourselves that we are too busy to get something done, or add something else to our lives, we should evaluate and prioritize. Of course we can’t do everything (trust me, I’ve tried and failed), but we can do what we do well and take ownership over our accomplishments and failures. Just because you haven’t had that coffee date you promised with your girlfriend a month ago, do not say, “I’m sorry! I’ve been so busy.” I’m sure you have been, but in truth, you have simply not made it a priority, and that’s OK.
Figure out what you want in life and what is most important to you, then prioritize from there. After you’ve decided what you do and do not want in your life, stop making busy excuses for the things you aren’t doing. Not folding the laundry for two weeks isn’t because you’ve been too busy; it’s because something else is taking priority.
When we eliminate the clutter and focus on our priorities, life just runs more smoothly. We know what we need to accomplish and how we are going to do it. In those weeks that you, for some reason, have less to do, then reach out to your girlfriend, aunt, or cousin, and grab that cup of coffee.