What Do You Really Mean When You Say You're Too Busy?

Have you put tasks on the back burner with the excuse of being "too busy?" Of course, you have! We've all done it!

Follow @katieryan430 on Instagram. This Kid Is a Hoot.

Follow @katieryan430 on Instagram. This Kid Is a Hoot.

I invite you to explore something new. What would your life look like if you wiped "busy" from your vocabulary? 

When you consistently use the phrase, "I'm so busy" what you're really saying is one of the following:

  1. "I'm important" - Do you wear "busy" like a badge of honor? Staying "busy" helps people feel needed and significant, but there is no reward or scholarship for burning yourself out. Eventually, you won't feel well and life will force you to slow down one way or another. Sure, there are natural seasons of life when we have more or less to do. However, if you're spread thin across the board and you can't remember the last time you had a minute to do anything you really wanted then it may be time for a shift. "High achievers" tend to get stuck here. 
  2. "I'm afraid" - Busy is a fabulous hiding spot. When there's fear about whatever you are too busy to be doing, you can use the excuse of busy to get out of it. Consciously or subconsciously we stay busy to avoid those uncomfortable silent moments that may reveal a truth we are afraid to hear. Maybe you aren't ready to shift your priorities, and that's OK, but you can't hide forever. 
  3. "I'm just not that into it!" - Busy is the most common excuse for getting out of doing the things we don't want to be doing. Practice being honest with yourself and others. Life's too short for lame excuses! Not to mention the guilt we feel for not doing stuff we never wanted to do in the first place. Just say no.
  4. I'm physically and/or emotionally overwhelmed and need more time and space for myself. - Sometimes you really do have too much on your plate and busy is a form of personal protection. If this is the case reconsider #1-3 and see about letting go of something on your long to-do list. If that's not possible see if you can delegate. If that's not possible then it is even MORE important to allow yourself to carve out some space to reset and fiercely protect that time for your sanity. This is also about being honest with yourself and setting healthy boundaries. 
Hannah on Girls (HBO)

Hannah on Girls (HBO)

So which is it? Setting boundaries, facing fears, and speaking your truth is NOT EASY. It's juicy life changing stuff. Anytime you hear yourself use the word "busy" try and notice if any of these other meanings have more value to you. This may drive you to figure out what you really want to be doing with your time, and what you don't. Whatever it is you want to do you, you will make it happen.