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Get rid of this one word … you’ll feel better.

There is always so much to do, jobs and work, family, community, life in general – and there is one word we use – it’s almost a badge of honour, a debating point for other women, men, husbands, wives, partners, parents, kids – that one word is … (drum roll please)


“How’s your week going?” – busy, “What have you been up to?” – busy, “How’s the kids going?” – busy, “Did you get that work task finished?” – no, too busy. It’s almost like a contest where if I’m busier than you than I’m obviously more successful than you…

BUSYNESS= Sad state of mind
BUSYNESS = overwhelmed

It is our weapon of choice. It explains why I completed things and why I didn’t complete others. Too busy.

I’ve been caught up in the loop of I’m busier than you, followed by a long exasperated sigh aaaah. Is this you too? Sometimes the “I’m busy” conversation takes longer and more energy than the actual doing of the activity.

But I’ve stopped saying it – just stopped cold turkey. Like one day said busy the next … not saying it!

It’s not helpful – it doesn’t measure success or happiness or usefulness because it’s just a word. A little word that says; I don’t have time for you or your chatter, I don’t have time to give you, I don’t have time to share with you, I don’t have time to care for you, I have way more important things than you.

But it’s a lie – you do have that time and you do want to chat, catch up, and spend time with others.

Busy – it’s not a positive word – I stopped it cold turkey – I told you that already – just like that – why you ask?

Thanks to my darling Dad (miss you) I rang him for a chat, a check in, a daddy daughter love in actually (he was always good at that). I rang him before his favourite TV shows began rather than ringing way too late at night (when I would justify I was less busy). After our normal pleasantries he said, “thanks for calling sweetheart – I appreciate you scheduling me in, I know how busy you are.”

It was a dagger through my heart… I am NEVER too busy for my Dad NEVER period. Why would he think that?
Because for the umpteenth (that’s Australian for many) years I had told him I was busy, busy, busy, to the point that he obviously didn’t rate and was lucky to get a call.

Now this confession isn’t to make me feel better, it’s a story to remind me and you that one word can tell people what to expect. I never want my family to think I squeeze them in around my schedule nor do I want my employees, customers, suppliers to think I squeeze them in my busy schedule filled with way more important people and tasks than them. We all know that is just not the case.

Now it’s good to have plenty to do but if you are feeling overwhelmed and saying I’m so busy that everyone is feeling that they don’t rate in your busy life – then look at your schedule what actually needs to be done today – is your schedule realistic or have you packed it so full there is little hope you’ll get it finished and then you’ll feel like a failure by the end of the day.

As bosses we have plenty of activities to keep us occupied so here are some tips for you:

    • Plan your day the night before and put down how long each task will take – this will help ensure you are not trying to squeeze too much in – this includes activities outside of work
    • If you do have too many activities what can you delegate to others? Or seriously leave to the next day
    • Make sure you have what you need to get your work completed
    • Don’t forget to let your employees know that they are valued and not just someone to squeeze in around your ‘busy’ schedule
    • Make sure you get some sleep, seriously never be so full of activities that you miss out on sleep

You still have plenty to do but hopefully you are feeling more in control and you can get rid of the word busy as a weapon.

Next time someone asks you if you’re busy you can respond; Plenty to do, but right now enjoying this moment with you.

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