Does this conversation sound familiar?
You: How are you?
Friend: Busy! I’ve been busy.
It seems we are all busy these days.
Are you busy?
The word busy is one of the most commonly used words in the English language. In fact, most lists have it in the top 500 words.
Some people wear busy as a badge of honor to imply success and popularity. Others use the word to invoke sympathy or even as an excuse for inaction.
I caught myself recently telling someone I’ve been busy when what I truly meant to say was “I am highly focused on a project deadline.”
Busy is bad.
Busy is bad for business.
Busy is bad for your health.
Busy is bad for your relationships.
Here are four reasons why you should ban the word busy from your vocabulary.
You won’t get the best work from yourself. Busy can often be an excuse for submitting sub-par work. Never tell yourself you’re too busy so you can be proud of the work you do.
You won’t get the promotion you wanted. If you are too busy in your current position, why would anyone grant you a promotion to a more substantial role? Never tell your boss you’re so you can take on that high-profile new role.
Your team won’t come to you seeking advice until things explode out of control. They don’t want to add to your trials, tribulations, and stress unless it is necessary. Never tell your team you’re busy so you can be available to support them as they create remarkable outcomes.
People won’t send you new clients. Are you too busy for new clients? When you tell people you are busy, they assume your business is at capacity and may not send referrals your way. Never tell anyone else you are so you can serve more people.
Remember that saying “A lack of planning on your part doesn’t constitute an emergency on my part?”
Not every email or phone call needs an immediate response. Although, responding in a timeline manner is more meaningful, which means you can schedule these in your calendar.
The antidote to busy is scheduling open space in your calendar. Schedule time to return calls and emails. You know you need to do it every day. Why not schedule that time into your agenda?
Do you have time on your calendar reserved every week for new clients and customers? You know they are going to call and want to work with you (if not, that’s another conversation.)
Stop being busy.
Who or what do you need to create space for in your life?