The Epidemic of Busy

Isn’t it incredible how terribly busy everyone seems to be? When the great Americans invented take-away coffee, we should have known that the value of leisure will never be greater than the value of work ever again.

The excuse of busy

‘Sorry, I’m busy’

The most common excuse we resort to when we haven’t followed through on our follow through, when we haven’t completed a project, when we failed to return a call, or when we fail to make our dreams a reality.

‘I was meaning to call you but I was tied up’

‘I was so busy I didn’t have enough time to finished the job’

We say we have a lot on our plate right now – but if Elon Musk can run Tesla, Solar City, Boring Company, and Neuralink at the same time – you and I have no right to say we didn’t have enough time to do something because we were so ‘busy’. Time on this earth may be fleeting, but nearly everyone has enough of it to do the things we really set our hearts and minds to.

Priorities vs Busy

But then I’ve also heard others say there is no such thing as busy – that there is only an order of priorities. And although I’d much rather say ‘Can I call you back, I’m busy right now’ than ‘Can I call you back, you’re not one of my priorities right now’, what it’s really hounding down on is the idea of prioritisation.

If you have time to binge watch an entire season of your favourite TV show on Netflix, then you have time to follow through on your follow through, to complete that project, return that call, and make your dreams a reality.

Unlike most things in life, success is two-dimensional – you have to put in the work for it to come true. Just as success doesn’t recognise excuses that come in the form of ‘tired’ or ‘stressed’, it doesn’t acknowledge ‘busy’. Success doesn’t care if you have a full-time job, 2 part-time gigs, or a 3-hour commute – it only recognises hard work.

Yes, now if you’re actually preoccupied working on your dream – by all means slam my invitation down with ‘I’m busy’.

But the moment you start using ‘busy’ as an excuse to avoid the grind – you’re lying to yourself. Who and what you make time for is a reflection of your priorities. We can stand in front of a mirror all day (or write a blog post about being busy) and declare affirmation about our dreams and what we believe in – but how we choose to spend the hours in our day ultimately determine what we truly care about.

There’s self-importance in busy

I know so many people (myself included) who always find the need to be ‘busy’ because it gives us a sense of importance – we take pride in knowing that doing what we do matters and that other people rely on us to get the job done. But the paradox with being busy is that the more you do, the more that needs to get done. Like how the more money you acquire, the more you go chasing after more.

If you’re not where you want to be in life – take a moment to reassess all the times you proclaimed you were busy. Were you truly putting in the work to get closer to the life you wanted, or were you ‘just busy’?

Image by Frank Köhntopp unsplash

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