Wise words written by my friend Rory
1) It’s super boring.
2) It spreads the disease of real-or-imagined busyness.
3) At every major stage in my life so far (primary to high school, high school to University, University to work…) I have been so much more busy than in the last stage that I kinda regret using the word ‘busy’ to describe that last stage. Assuming I’m not about to peak any time soon, I’ll just call this ‘life’ and tell you nearer the end which parts were actually busy.
4) Busyness is part of how our culture affirms self worth. No need to bow at the altar of busyness to justify your existence.
5) There is a pretty decent chance that, at least some times, the person you are speaking to is more ‘busy’ than you. Or unbusy in a way that is more difficult than busy (e.g. lonely, unemployed, unwell).
So, here’s a suggestion:
1) Decide, at least for one year, to not say that you’re busy.
2) When you want to say it, replace ‘busy’ with a specific. Consider the difference between:
a) “Work is busy”
b) “I’m finding work challenging at the moment because there is a report due in on Friday and I can’t think where to begin it.”
The first is boring and gives me nothing. The second actually lets me into your world a little, and gives me something I could help with, actually sympathise with.
3) Reflect on why you want to say that you’re busy. Is it:
a) To justify your existence?
b) Because of specific challenges that, if you shared them, people could help you? (Then say the actual thing on your heart)
c) The kind of busy that is actually a blessing? In which case, find and replace ‘busy’ with ‘plenty of great stuff to do’ or equivalent.
d) The kind of busy that is actually a problem you need to do something about? You’re a creature. You have limits. Maybe do less?
**Let me clarify that I am very much prone to using the ‘b’ word. This is as much a reminder to me than it is a lesson for us all.