April 20: Stop Saying You’re Busy

Every Wednesday, I’ll (try) to post up a Simple Living Tip, with an emphasis on tips that can be done while living a more traditional 9-to-5 life. 

I realized that before I can even start giving out practical tips for simple living, I should focus on attitude and adjust my own attitude toward life.  Right now, when people ask “How are you?”, my automatic response is a sigh followed by “Oh, I’m so busy.” And I know I’m not the only person who does this.  This is the stock response I get from most people whether they’re a middle manager, a homemaker or out-of-work actor.

Maybe you think saying you’re busy does not matter.  However, I think that we should reserve that response for truly busy periods in our lives. We all have unfinished to-do lists and a million things to do but there are some days, or weeks, where you actually do have time. Whether you spend that time watching YouTube videos or taking a long nap is up to you.  (BTW, I think long lazy afternoons are necessary!)

I guess what I’m saying is that if you think you’re overwhelmed, then you will be overwhelmed. If you recognize that some chores and errands are routine parts of adult life, then you won’t insist you’re always “so busy”.   Save that answer for truly overwhelming times like when you have out-of-town visitors, two weddings to attend in one weekend, or an important work project with a fast-approaching deadline.  Now I realize that some people do get caught up in busy situations week after week but that’s a post for another day. In the meantime, ask yourself do you say “you’re busy” when you’re really not that busy?

4 responses to “April 20: Stop Saying You’re Busy

  1. Yes! I also frequently remind my husband of this when he says he’s really busy. Life is busy, in general. Only deviations from the usual pace of adult life should be noted!

  2. This probably makes me an asshole, but…I think folks often use the “I’m busy” refrain to imply that “I’m really important.” There seems to be a cultural impetus to be in constant motion, even if said motion is meaningless, because it gives the false impression of added value. (No offense intended to souls who really are running non-stop for meaningful things!)

  3. thinkingaboutit

    I agree with Consciously Frugal. On the other hand, I used to often answer the how are you question with “contentedly unbusy,” “delightfully unbusy,” “zen-ishly unbusy” or something like that. That’s because it was the truth. But I would only say that to friends who I knew would not think badly of me, but who would be glad to hear it. I think I am very lucky to have the laid back life I have, but, in part, it is just innate personality that I do not run myself ragged. I mean I know some people even cause themselves anxiety, frenzy, tight schedules, and time pressures in the leisure activities they choose. I do think more people should stop and smell the roses, admire the clouds, watch raindrops flow down a window pane, and lie down on those pristine lawns they whip into submission.

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