don't use this dirty 4-letter word


No not that one. Not that one either.

I'm so busy.

I was too busy to call you.

Work is just so crazy busy.

I was so busy this weekend.

Sound familiar? I eliminated a four letter word from my vocabulary...


Busy is a choice. We fill our day with things to do by choice. It's easy to say, "but I don’t have a choice". Yes, you do.

Maybe the overuse or the misuse of the term "busy" has brought this to light. Busy is also a relative description of time. I can't tell you that I am busier than my sister. We are both ‘busy’, doing stuff, participating in different activities. One is not busier than the other, there is no competition.

There is no prize at the end of your life for being the busiest. 

Many people use this term as a way to tell the world they have a lot of things going on in their life.

We use this word to validate our existence - even if you don't want to admit it.

If we're busy at work then we must be working hard, and we're successful - right?

If we're busy at home we must be fulfilled and our home life is amazing - right?

If we're busy in our social lives it must mean that we're loving life - right?

Generally, I think people who complain about how busy they are - are feeling unsatisfied in at least one area of their life.

I'm guilty of overusing this word. 

If you hear me say “I” and “busy” in the same sentence, I'll give you $50; just tell me how it was spent. I'll share my mishap on the blog, and what my $50 funded.

Saying we are busy is fussy and complicated.

Your life is full - with experiences. Are those experiences fulfilling or depleting you? Are you making a conscious effort to increase the fulfilling ones and decrease the ones that drain you?

Instead of complaining about your never-ending busyness, try these:

  • I'm filling my time these days with lots of exciting things! They are...[then describe those things in a positive light]
  • I've been [describe the thing you've been doing lately]

Simple, right? Just describe what you're actually doing. It's easy to keep people at arm's length and respond with a quick and lazy, "Oh, I've been busy" - but when you take the time to open up and let people into your world a little, you're fostering a connection. 

On Monday morning when my colleagues ask how my weekend was, I don't say "it was busy!" I talk about all the amazing things I chose to fill my time with - Jacob had an awesome hockey game, we did some work on the yard, had some friends over for a BBQ, and make some progress on my next book.

See, this opens the door for other's to offer you a similar response. Being an example is the best way to stop the glorification of busy.

I hope this post moves you to describe those wonderful pastimes for what they truly are. Describing how you spend your time is easy, honest, and unfussy.

PS - I removed another four-letter word from my vocabulary and 6 ways to have waaaaay more fun while getting out the door in the morning

Photo courtesy of Joao Malaquias
Photo courtesy of Joao Malaquias