Busy. Try to go one day without saying that word. You might be surprised by how often you use it. I confess, I am guilty of using “that word” too often.
To re-frame your relationship with “busy”, think of it as a dirty, bad and inappropriate 4-letter-word.
When someone asks us how we are doing, and we reply “busy”, do we lament the fact that we are busy? Or, do we wear it as a badge of honor? Do we say we are busy because we think it makes us special? Please tell me we don’t think we are showing off by saying we are busy!
When someone tells me how busy they are, I automatically want to help them be less busy, because I assume they want to be less busy. However, I have found that
many most people don’t want to be less busy. Many people feel that busy is the opposite of lazy. Some people actually relish the overwhelm and chaos. Could this be a form of self sabotage?
One thing is for sure, we all have the same 168 hours each week. We get to decide how to spend those precious hours. Laura Vanderkam is a time management ninja. She is phenomenal. From her, I learned that we have enough time to do the things we WANT to do. We had the opportunity to interview her for the entremoms podcast recently. You should listen! http://entremoms.com/show-12-laura-vanderkam
I am a fanatic of all things productivity and time management related. However, I like to keep it simple. Very simple. Do you want to know the trick to being less busy? Here is my super-secret, profound and brilliant solution (sarcasm):
DO LESS STUFF.
Period. Do you want to know how to do less stuff? When your are asked to do things that you don’t feel you have time for, that overwhelm you, that you will have to show up late for and THEN be late for your next commitment, or you just don’t want to do- just say no! You are the boss of you. When you say yes- remember you are saying no to other, possibly more important, things.
If your days are filled with meaningful, purpose-driven tasks and commitments… fantastic! However, this isn’t usually the case. More often than not, people (particularly women) fill their days / non-work hours with commitments simply because they can’t say “no”. Learn to be fiercely protective of your time. Slay the “beast of busy” by saying no to things that don’t align with your personal goals and mission. Ask yourself:
Is (whatever thing you’ve been asked to do) the best way for me to serve others with my time, gifts and talents?
If the answer is no, try this response:
No, but thank you for thinking of me.
That is ALL. No explanation. No apology.
I’m not exaggerating when I tell you mastery of this teeny-tiny-2-letter-word can transform your life. I am working on this very thing. I am a work in progress. I can’t say I am in remission, but I am in recovery. Compared to this time last year, I say “no” exponentially more often. It has truly been life changing for me. I am less stressed, more intentional and making time for things I previously thought I was to b@%y for.
If you had an extra hour every day, how would you spend it? Then put it on your calendar! Block out an hour to (whatever you want to do).
“For everything there is a season, and a time for every person under heaven.” Ecclesiates 3:1
Be a blessing today.