How, “I’m busy,” is the New, “I’m good.”

Welcome back! I don’t know if this will turn into a rant but let’s just roll with it and see how it goes! I’ve noticed something in my observations of the current times, when you run into someone and ask they how their life is going, 90% of the time I hear, “I’m great I’m just so busy.” Something about this response makes my skin crawl. It’s like when you ask someone how they’re doing and they reply with, “I’m good.” Let me break this down for you.

I’ve noticed over the past 10 years, particularly with my generation, the 25-40 year old range but it could apply to other age groups as well, there is a lot of status wrapped in the phrase, “I’m busy.” If you respond with you’re busy, I think it reads that you are too important to make time for anyone. I met a gal recently who worked 16 hour days and she brought her work home every night. When we finally met up for coffee three weeks later, she told me how she took on extra clients when her co-workers quit and always said yes to new projects thrown at her. It was running her ragged and she barely saw her fiance. I think society and college has created us into yes monsters. Overstretching ourselves, sacrificing our family and/or health but usually both to go above and beyond in our careers. Don’t get me wrong that we should give 100% at our jobs because they are paying us and sometimes funding our side hustle, but if you can’t create a healthy boundary between your life and your *insert time consuming thing* you’ll be run by it.

This phrase can also be applied in relation to time management. When you try to make plans with someone, their excuse to get out if it is the, “I’m too busy,” response. But in reality, they aren’t too busy. Yes they may have a ton on their plate like work, and commuting, and children, and side hustles, but when you boil it all down, if you said yes to all these extra things when you truly didn’t have the time, you only have yourself to blame for your lack of time. There is power in saying no. When you say no to an extra activity, or something that adds no value to you, you’re saying yes to yourself. That yes may come in the form of spending a Friday night with your family or you having time to enjoy a glass of wine and a bubble bath. Or it could look like you leaving the the office at 5:00 and spending time with your spouse. There is more to life than being too busy and when you can start to manage your time efficiently, you’ll be able to breathe again. You can’t continue to go this hard for so long, at one point or another, you will crash. Then when you’re able to pick up the pieces, it will feel hard to know where to start.

I know all this because I have been there. I am guilty of all of this. I was a severe workaholic perfectionist who sought all of my worth in my job. At the time I worked for a company that did not value me and used fear tactics to motivate the staff. Being threatened to be fired was an everyday thing. It wasn’t until I had a hug breakdown I realized that being busy pursing this job was hurting my lively hood. It shook me to for one get a new job, two get some boundaries, and three work on my perfectionism. I sought to find value in who I am not the things I was doing or my job. It was incredibly freeing to be able to let go of all the ties of being busy and embrace a calm of sitting in who I am.

So if you find yourself saying, “I’m busy,” ask yourself was that your goal? Was that the dream you had when you were a little kid, to be busy? Ask yourself these hard questions and see where you can cut back and get back to your life. Your well being and sanity desperately need it. End rant.

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