About a year ago I found I was using the word busy a bit too much. 

People would ask: “How are things?” “How’s your week?” “How’s life?” or some variation of this, and often the response was “Keeping busy” or “Good, but busy.” It was too much. As a society, we’ve devalued the word busy.

I’m busy, so what!? Responding with “I’m busy” doesn’t really tell you anything about me, my life, how things are, or tell me anything about your life when you reply the same way. We’re all busy! So what!? It’s time we dig deeper for a better response or maybe just a better, more intentional way of using our time.

One of the Leadership Harbor coaches’ mentors, Mark Cole, says busy is an excuse and elicits empathy from others. It’s an effective excuse because people don’t tend to push beyond a response of “busy.” When we say we’re busy, people tend to automatically identify with the overload that comes with being overworked. Cole goes on to say, “Unfortunately, empathy doesn’t help us get past being busy. Empathy actually reinforces that mental state and allows us to feel okay with being that way.”

So, what should we do? How do we get unbusy?

We start with evaluating—taking a true look at our schedule. They say show me someone’s bank account and their calendar, and I’ll show you where their heart is. If our schedules (and, for that matter, our bank accounts) don’t show that we place a priority on certain things, we’re always going to be busy! There’s a free resource on the Leadership Harbor resource page called the Captain’s Log. Download it for an easy guide to help you find out where your priorities are.

I don’t know about you, but I’m sick of being busy. I want to be intentional about how I use my time. I want to direct where my hours and days are spent. I want to grow, to become better at what I do—to be better at leading and adding value to others. If I don’t put time aside to do these things, I’ll get to the end of another week, the end of this year, and look back and say, “I was ‘busy.’”

Join me in becoming more intentional with your time, your growth, and your leadership and eliminate “busy” from your vocabulary. Join me in becoming better. At Leadership Harbor, we pride ourselves in helping others discover their values and their passions and unlocking their potential. If that’s something you’re interested in, if you want to become less “busy” and more intentional, give us a call. We’d love to be your thinking partner!

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