In multiple conversations this past week, the same word kept popping up:
It seems that everybody is “busy.” Or assuming other people are busy. Or asking if you’re busy as if that’s an indicator of something useful.
And everyone seems to want more time, because we’re too busy to get everything done.
What if you had more time? Would it help? Or would you still be busy?
Busy is the badge of honor of our times. Our cultural norms have evolved to equate busy with success and status. If you’re busy, it means you are successful. If you’re busy it means that you’re in demand, and therefore you must be very good at what you do. If you’re busy you must be very important.
At least that’s what many people think it means.
The Story Behind Busy
Busy is one of the most disempowering words in the English language. It steals your time and your agency over how you spend it.
The words we choose tell a story to ourselves and others. Busy tells your subconscious a story that I don’t have enough time.
Think about how often you tell yourself or others that you’re busy. How many times a day?
It’s no surprise that everyone wants more time. We live in a culture that values busy, the biggest time stealer.
How to Get More Time
The easiest way I have found to get more time is through one simple shift:
Eliminate the word from your vocabulary. Stop using it. Delete it.
This is a practice I do for myself and I’ve introduced my clients to it.
Try replacing busy with a better story, such as
I make time for what’s important.
I have the power to set my priorities.
I get to choose what I do.
Often, the effect of this shift is immediate. This past week, a client told me that he immediately felt a weight come off his shoulders. Busy had made him feel deflated. The moment he chose to banish busy, he felt lighter.
Busy is not a circumstance; it’s a choice. A choice that steals your time and power.
If you want more time, make a different choice. Choose to banish busy.
Be aware that this is a lot easier said than done. The choice of busy is a habit. And because busy is a cultural value and norm, we get reinforcement for choosing it. Banishing busy is not a one-time act, but a daily practice of breaking the habit and retraining a new story every time you hear yourself use the b-word.
If you’re ready to banish busy and break other habits that are holding you back, join us for The Ritual Revolution, where I’ll teach you how to break sabotaging habits and create space for your best work.