Losing the “B” word

“Have you noticed that even the busiest people are never too busy to take time to tell you how busy they are?”
― Bob Talbert, Author

I read an article a couple months ago on the Huffington Post called, “Why I’m Eliminating the Word ‘Busy’ From My Vocabulary.” I’ve thought about it, and I realized that I could do without the word as well. It’s overused. Everyone says they’re busy, and they don’t have time.

But who controls your time?

You do.

How many times have you heard the following statements?

  • I’ve been too busy to catch up with you.
  • I’ve been so busy lately I haven’t had a moment to [call/text/email] you.
  • I need to cancel our [lunch/dinner/meeting] because I am so busy. (Then, the busy person sends list of busy items to prove his or her busy schedule.)

The word “busy” has such a negative connotation to me now because of the statements above. I find that people are constantly pushing others aside because they are “so busy,” “things are so crazy/hectic,” or “my schedule is so insane.”

Imagine telling someone: “my schedule is so busy because I’m a big deal. You’re not as important to me.” That’s pretty arrogant.

Being busy suggests that a person is bad with time management and that she let’s others control her schedule.

Being busy is how people get stressed out, and we know stress is not healthy. Stress does not help you get a good night’s sleep. You begin to worry about your busy schedule for the next day, and then the vicious busy cycle starts all over again.

Being busy takes you out of the moment. You are no longer thinking about what is going on right now. You are thinking about how busy you are.

I think people also use the word “busy” to show others how important they are. They may say, “I need to check my calendar first.” Then, the smartphone comes out, a finger swipes through screens, and the person gives looks of anxiety as she consults the supposedly busy schedule as she finds a free hour. The entire act shows that she is important and that you should be thankful for a minute of her time.

So I have decided to replace the word “busy” with the word “commitments.”

I’ve talked to a few people over the past couple weeks that have also become annoyed with the word “busy.” I even talked to an event planner that has a full schedule every day, but she is in control of her calendar, and she’s not stressed. In each conversation, I mentioned that I was replacing “busy” with “commitments,” and each person said she was going to do the same.

Therefore, I am not looking at a busy schedule for the week. I am looking at my schedule of commitments.

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