The phrase, “I’m too busy” or “I was just too busy” seems to be thrown around a lot these days. Start listening for it in daily conversation with your co-workers, spouse, friends, colleagues, random strangers at a restaurant. You’ll hear it creep up as people talk about their day. About missing deadlines, forgoing dreams, or not spending time doing something they love. Being too busy has become an acceptable excuse that people generally just shrug, nod, and acknowledge as true. I want to challenge that notion. When I hear someone tell me they were “too busy” what I’m really hearing is “it wasn’t important to me” and so should you.
We all have 24 hours in a day, 7 days a week, and 52 weeks in a year. No more, no less. We all delegate our time and give our attention to the things we deem as most important at any given moment. The things we spend the most amount of time on should be the things that are most important to us because we all have a fixed amount of time to get those things done. That’s why I want you to strip the phrase, “I was just too busy” from your vocabulary this moment. Never say it again. Ever! Instead, if someone asks why you missed a deadline or why you weren’t at a specific event give a real reason. Explain what you were doing that was more important and begin to prioritize your life around getting those important things done.
None of us should ever feel bad about doing something we’re completely passionate about. None of us should have to make excuses for our actions when we’re choosing to devote our time to something that brings us happiness and makes us better people. I’m not condoning living a purely selfish life. In fact I believe in the exact opposite, but in this world of constant communication and connections it’s easy to get overwhelmed and over involved. Prioritizing time and putting it to good use has never been more important.
The next time someone tells you they were too busy stop them. Challenge that statement by saying, “What you’re really telling me is that it wasn’t as important to you as something else” and wait for a reaction. I would personally prefer a truthful answer to a straight forward question than empty excuses with no guarantee of future action. Then again, I’m only one person and right now, I’m kind of busy.