I am not sure what it is about this word, but it always seemed to haunt me, and never in a good way.
When I began to work for the government, everyone around me attempted to one up each other on how “busy” they were. You were only busy if you were writing briefing notes, Q’s and A’s, and of course reports. I grew up with a Father who never said he was busy, he never told me he was too busy for me, mind you, I don’t think I ever dared ask him to play with me. It just seemed like a very odd request, I mean, he played chess with us, and goodness knows he was an incredible opponent, he never once turned me down when I needed his help with any school work. My Mother on the other hand, always said she was busy. We will get back to that shortly.
At work, it annoyed me that people said they were busy. I couldn’t figure out why they were doing the same job, and yet, spent a long time in the office during non emergency international incidents. For years, I got sucked into the idea of busy. Once you become a Mother, it just seems like everyone is “busy”. It still bothered me, using that word.
My Mother, always complained how busy she was, she always helped with our homework, and was always there at every play, don’t get me wrong, but her excuse for most things, was that she was too busy. What always struck me, was she was always too busy to really accomplish something, and see something through to the end.
It wasn’t until a Tim Ferriss podcast, that Tim himself made an off-handed comment that struck a chord, if you are busy, you aren’t organizing your life properly, something is just wrong with what you are doing. Wow, and I mean wow.
So, in a quest, I decided to spend 3 months re-wiring my brain. I ignored when other Mother’s complained they were busy, and wanted to complain about how busy their lives were or are. That took a lot, if the inside of my cheeks were any indication of how painful it was to listen and ignore without sympathizing or saying something like “shut up”, it was simply painful. For 3 months I have not used the word busy. I have not once told my son I was too busy to play with him, instead, I have told him “let me finish up what I am doing, and then I can give you all of my attention. How about I put on the timer?’. When it comes to my writing, I have set aside time to write, and if it doesn’t work out, fine, if it does, it does, but I am never busy. Being “busy” is no longer an excuse to accomplish what I want to and need to accomplish.
With the simple act of eliminating that word, I have become more positive, more present, and more effective human being. It surprised me just how an elimination in my vocabulary has changed my outlook on life.
I dare you to try eliminating it from your vocabulary, and see how it works for you!