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Mar 18, 2019 18:29:56

Busy is a decision

by @brandonwilson PATRON | 224 words | 579πŸ”₯ | 579πŸ’Œ

Brandon Wilson

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In his book Tribe of Mentors, Tim Ferriss details his interviews with high performers. In the interview with designer extraordinaire Debbie Millman, Debbie explains her thoughts about being busy. 

Busy is a decision. Of the many excuses people use to rationalize why they can’t do something, the excuse β€œI am too busy” is not only the most inauthentic, it is also the laziest. We do things we want to do, period. If we say we are too busy, it is short hand for β€œnot important enough.” It means you would rather be doing something else that you consider more important. If we use busy as an excuse for not doing something what we are really saying is that it’s not a priority. You don’t find the time to do something; you make the time to do things.  

I think many people use the phrase "I'm too busy" as a polite way to get out of obligations that they simply don't want to commit to. 

The problem is when you say "I'm too busy" to yourself. Most likely this is just an excuse to hide the truth. Think about the real reason why you don't want to do something. Is it something important that you really should be doing? Don't let the excuse of being too busy get in the way of accomplishing your goals. 



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    I just read your post about tracking progress. I think its related to this point too. I think that being too busy often is a euphemism for, I'm not tracking my life enough thus have no time and have no priorities.

    Abe avatar Abe | Mar 22, 2019 16:11:49
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      @abrahamKim Very true. Or it could be the opposite: some people are too busy focusing on tracking instead of doing.

      Brandon Wilson avatar Brandon Wilson | Mar 22, 2019 08:59:40
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    @brandonwilson - Loved that interview on the podcast. There were many gems like the one you wrote here. I guess that's where Tim got his quote - "If you are busy, you haven't set your priorities."

    I find that I say I am busy particularly when the task that is proposed takes too long. (like meetings at work :)). It just seems more polite to say that you are busy to someone that tell them you do not have time for their proposal. While trying to balance work, health, business, family and self development - sometimes the suggestion of spending more than an hour at a random event or happy hour feels like an assassination of time. And saying that to someone who has invited you sounds rude - particularly from a female.
    But saying I am too busy to yourself - totally is what you described above.

    Keni avatar Keni | Mar 19, 2019 23:19:58
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      @brandonwilson @keni @brandonwilson yes yes yes!
      And it is so true that many people delude, mainly, themselves into believing that they really are just "too busy" to not do things, or forget about them (hihi @philh, well, I do it as well!)
      It is all about the priorities!
      And it goes of course the other way round
      "The importance of things can be measured by how much time we are willing to invest in them."
      The expression of Love is Time.
      Any excuse out of that is... simply crap

      Lucjah avatar Lucjah | Mar 21, 2019 12:04:45
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    @brandonwilson Fully agree!

    Julia Saxena avatar Julia Saxena | Mar 19, 2019 15:55:38
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    @brandonwilson I guess it depends on your intent. If you're using "I'm too busy" as an excuse in an attempt to fool yourself into feeling better about not-doing something, then I agree with everything you've shared. If, on the other hand, you're using "I'm too busy" as a shorthand excuse to opt-out of requests from others to do things you'd rather not do -- I think it's perfectly acceptable. It certainly sounds better to the other person than hearing the franker version of "your request and our relationship is not a priority to me" (though I suppose they are free to interpret it that way...)

    Don The Idea Guy avatar Don The Idea Guy | Mar 18, 2019 19:30:30
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      @dontheideaguy Good point. There is no reason to torpedo relationships with brutal honesty if that can be avoided. On the other hand, I usually allow one "I'm too busy" from people when I reach out to them. If I get that answer more than once from the same person, I evaluate the relationship and determine whether it is worth staying in touch.

      Brandon Wilson avatar Brandon Wilson | Mar 19, 2019 06:21:54
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      @brandonwilson @dontheideaguy Yes...
      and... it can be really heard though. I just lost (I decided to stop reaching out to) a friend of 17 years. She told me "I am too busy" (more than twice) and no matter the disbelieve, pain and loss, i did revaluate.
      Things just end (such a cliche phrase, such deep truth and.. something i find bloody hard to cope with. Like right now...)

      Lucjah avatar Lucjah | Mar 21, 2019 11:57:33
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      @brandonwilson @lucjah
      I think that another avenue you could try when you're on the receiving end of an "I'm too busy" (especially if they are a valued contact) is to respond in an unexpected way.

      I think most folks would expect a person who hears "I'm too busy" to simply go away and forget to follow-up with them once they might be less busy.

      An unexpected response would be to volunteer to help them get out from under their busyness burden. A simple "How can I help you catch-up" could be curve-ball enough to get the other person to think more realistically about how busy they really are -- and either reconsider their availability to work on your mutual project, or to serious ask for your help.

      Of course, you have to willing to lend a hand!

      Don The Idea Guy avatar Don The Idea Guy | Mar 21, 2019 20:42:55
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      @brandonwilson @dontheideaguy "respond in an unexpected way" that a great idea!
      I don't like to be a "yes, but.." person, but... LOL
      in this case it is impossible, we live in two countries and even "remote" help is out of question

      Lucjah avatar Lucjah | Mar 22, 2019 18:15:05
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