Hiding behind Busy

Dry Stone Wall English Peak District

It’s a rainy grey morning here in Montreal. Today I don’t have any firm deadlines to meet. My mind wanders to what I could tackle next and inevitably I land on reading through some blogs. The word “busy” percolates to the top of my mind. In one bloggers words as it relates to her dating approach, she says “I guess I have never made myself available in the past, masking the fear of responsibilities and commitment of having a relationship with the word ‘busy'”. I began to think this insight not only applies to ones’ success with dating but really to work and life in general. Think about it. How many times have you asked ‘how are you’ to a friend or colleague only to hear the reply “busy” or “busy busy” as one of my former colleagues used to say. If you catch yourself replying with the word busy, stop! and then add on “but not too busy to talk to you” or my favourite, “but I have all the time in the world”.

What is busy anyway? We all have a million things to do and how we choose what to act on now is a conscious or unconscious choice based on our priorities, or how we feel. Notice how I didn’t say priorities of importance. While it would be nice to do the important things first, generally we end up working on things we feel like until the 11th hour and a firm deadline. If you have never read the 7 habits of highly successful people and First things First by Steven Covey, I recommend them. He shows you how to organize your time into four quadrants; 1) urgent and important, 2)not urgent and important, 3) urgent and not important,  4) not urgent and not important. We spend a lot of time in the 4th quadrant which includes things like too much T.V. or social media and other time-wasting activities. We spend too little time in the first quadrant which includes the planning, preparation and creating our path.

What is your busyness approach? Are you hiding behind that word so that you don’t have to reveal how you feel or today’s challenges. It may not even be toward others but to yourself. You may be feeling overwhelmed and believe you are so so so busy. This busyness attitude may actually feed into your feeling of self-importance as well. Only you can do this task, or do it this well, you may think. We can actually create our own stress based on what we believe we must do and the self-talk we listen to. Don’t let you busy self stress you out. I find it amazing that some people can seemingly do everything with ease and some of us struggle to find time for one thing. Part of it is just perception and your envy coloring the picture. In reality we are all living our lives, full of activity and ups and downs. The secret is you have the power to chose how you want to live, how you want to think and how you want to feel. This power comes from what you tell yourself first then what you tell others. Those with the “busy” mindframe may miss out on some of life’s greatest adventures since they seem to have their minds buried in the busy pit.

Consider the next time you hear someone reply they are busy. Realize that they may well be masking their fears and hiding behind all those bricks called ‘busy’ that eventually creates a wall. Try to poke a hole in it, make a connection. Ask a question or invite them for coffee. Sometimes the busy ones feel a bit trapped and would welcome a helping hand out.


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