A love note from a Former Busy Girl
I know, I know. You’re SO busy.
I too was once a too busy person. Being busy has become a trophy in our society, a competition and way to say, “I’m more important than you”. It’s also the easiest cop out in the book to get out of things you don’t want to do. You are “too busy” to do everything from dinner with your crazy aunt, to that baby shower you are secretly dreading, to finally starting that self care routine of sleep, health eating, going to the gym meditating, washing your face…
A while ago I took a pledge to stop saying I was busy.
Because here’s the truth: you have the same number of hours in the day as anyone else. “I’m too busy, I’m so slammed, I don’t have time” have become the new catchall phrases for everything we simply don’t want to do or that feels hard. Saying you don’t have time feels safe. It’s also a lie that we are able to buy because we are masters of filling up our time. Think about it. Every day, since the day you were born, you were able to fill all 24 hours of your day. Right? So today, you will fill all 24 hours. No one has an extra 2-3 hours that they just sit and say. Hmm. I will now shut down all operating systems for the next 2 hours like some kind of weird robot. No. You watch TV. You clean your house. You take your kids to the park. You take on an extra project at work. You scroll Instagram. You read blog posts <ahem>. You do SOMETHING with that time.
Very often when I talk to people about what they desire out of life, they know, in shockingly specific detail what they want. What they imagine their life to be. But when I ask them what is keeping them from getting there, the answer is always the same: I don’t have time. I’m too busy.
I’m sorry. What? You are too busy to…. live your life? That is what KILLS me about this conversation. This is your LIFE we are talking about here, and what you are telling me is that you are too busy with everything else to actual show up to your own LIFE?! That is the reason you can’t take the leap? Make the change? Be better?
If you want something to be a priority in your life, you make the time for it at the expense of something else that you deem not as important.
It’s truly that simple. If you want to do something new then you need to LITERALLY MAKE TIME. You need to not do something you used to do and instead do this new thing. So when you say you don’t have time, what you are saying is: I don’t have the desire to give something up in my life to get that time to do something else. It’s not a priority to me. Which begs the question:
Why aren’t you making yourself (and your life) a priority?
It’s not that you don’t have the time, but rather, you made a choice to do something else that to you, is more important. Quite literally, you HAVE TIME. 24 hours to be precise. You are choosing to fill each one of them with things that you have deemed more important than this NEW thing that is asking for some of your time. That’s fine – unless you are using it as a reason to not change. Claiming you are too busy can paralyze you and put you in the victim mindset. And I call bullshit.
Don’t worry, I’m not gonna leave you with out a plan to get Busy Sober. Remember, I’m a former Busy Girl too. I’ve been in your shoes. Here’s how I stopped being addicted to being being:
#1. Accept that your busyness is down to lack of clarity about your priorities.
That’s right. Your job/kids/health don’t give you a pass at owning your time. We ALL have the same number of hours in the day. I can hear you right now. I am WAY BUSY. I have a VERY IMPORTANT JOB and I work CRAZY HOURS. Ok so, you have a boss, you have 3 little bosses, you are training for a marathon, etc? This is the hardest part this this truth talk to swallow, but those are all choices you made. You made the choice, however long ago, to have kids, to get that job, to do whatever it is that you are now claiming is making you too busy to what? Live your life? That THING has become the jail keeper of your time and you are letting it. Stop doing that. Stop letting your life run you and instead decide to run your life. It’s called setting boundaries. It’s a simple, but really fucking powerful switch.
#2. Change your language.
Get out of the victim mentality and own your life choices. Instead of saying "I don't have time" try saying "it's not a priority," and see how that feels. Often, that's a perfectly adequate explanation. i.e. “I have time to iron my sheets, I just don't want to”. But other things are harder. Try it: "I don't go to the doctor because my health is not a priority."
If that doesn’t sit well, that's the point.
#3. Remind yourself that time is a choice.
If we don't like how we're spending an hour, we can choose differently. If we don’t want to do something, we should say that instead of claiming to be too busy. If we have another, previous obligation that is a bigger priority, like say, work, we should own that and not pretend to feel put out by a job that we chose to be a part of. Life doesn’t happen to us. We are the bosses of our lives.
So let’s agree. We are all going to stop saying, “I’m too busy” and “I don’t have the time.” Because it’s not a competition and it’s not an excuse. Take the pledge. If you are ready to stop the bullshit comment below. “I’m done being too busy!”