“Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.” – Ferris Bueller
Lately when I ask people “how are you?” many times the answer is “busy”. Sometimes it’s said with an exasperated look but a lot of times it’s said with a smile. As if being busy is some sort of badge of honor. I mean being busy means your time is in demand and you’re being super productive and getting important things done, right? Sometimes. But many times it means we’ve taken on more than we can handle because we can’t cut through the crap to see what’s important. Or worse, we let others dictate what is important in our lives. And we lack the ability to say no. But psychologically we have to make ourselves feel good about being completely overwhelmed with our lives so we keep adding to the pile and think of ourselves as some sort of super person. And if we’re busier than our friends/colleagues/neighbors we must be somehow more capable or more important. Right? Wrong. Oh so wrong.
I’ve learned recently that “busy” is bullshit. Busy means I’m working hard and not smart. It means I’m not making good use of my productive time. It means I’m trying to fit too many things into a day. It means I’m letting others’ needs come before my own. I’m learning to prioritize things in my life. I’ve stopped over scheduling myself and saying “yes” to things I can’t fit on my plate. I make sure to take time each day to relax or do something I enjoy. You won’t hear me tell you on a daily basis that I’m “busy”. I’ll tell you quite honestly that I’m having a shitty day or that I’m having a really good day or that I’m an asshole and over scheduled myself for the day. But busy is no longer a badge of honor in my life.
PSA: If you’re like me and want to try and fix your “busy” problem check out GTD (Getting Things Done). It’s a set of principles and steps that helps bring order to the chaos and helps me be more productive. I’ve been using the principles for a few years but I’ve recently come back to revisit and re-apply them. Check out GTD. It’s awesome.