What is it with everyone and “being busy?”

May 4, 2012

Me: You should have called me! I would have been happy to help you.
Them: Oh, I thought about it, but I didn’t want to bother you. You’re so busy!

Them: You have a blog?
Me: Yup. I love to write.
Them: Wow…
Me: What?
Them: Well, I just don’t know how you can find time to do that without taking away from [insert whatever project we’re discussing here].

Them: Hey Annie, what have you been up to lately? Crazy busy as always?
Me: Umm, well I’ve been up to a lot of things, but let me tell you about the coolest bird I saw on my bird feeder this morning!
Them: Huh?

Them: So I hear you have gotten into real estate.
Me: Yeah! We love it. We have a couple properties now.
Them: So you’re not building Vemma anymore?

Them: I don’t have time to read. When do you do it?
Me: Well, I enjoy reading the most in the mornings, right after breakfast.
Them: Ha! Yeah, well, that must be nice…

I participate in a conversation like this at least once a week with someone. They’re all similar and all center around the same thing: being busy.

It’s been one of the most surprising reactions from people during my past two+ years of working for myself.

What is it with everyone and ‘being busy?’

I have so many questions around this topic…

Why do people assume that I am so busy to accomplish even the littlest extra thing?
Why do they assume that I am so busy that I have to pick one project, or one business, over another?
Why do they assume that, if I am NOT busy, that I must be lazy? Or not accomplishing anything?

Why do we seem to reward and applaud those that have the busiest schedule?

I was reading a short, sweet, and enjoyable e-book this morning from Kim and Jason Kotecki of Adultitis.org, and it got me thinking about busy-ness.

Since when does being successful imply that you don’t have time to breathe or live or converse?

And by the way, I’m not saying that I am the model of success. But I have two successful, cash-flowing businesses and several strong hobbies and am able to have the time freedom to work at home and dedicate time and energy and focus to all of them. Where along the line did we equate such a situation with being too busy to breathe?

I eat breakfast on the porch and watch the birds and meet friends out for long lunches and spend at least an hour every evening doing practically nothing but talking with my husband.

I also manage our two rental investments, support and grow a network marketing business with over 6000 people, network and socialize online, spend at least 30 minutes writing, 30 minutes reading, 30 minutes on personal development, and keep tabs on the dishes and the laundry and the dog and all the other duties that go along with managing a household. Often there is time for a walk or a run outside, or more reading, or chats with my Mom on the phone, or organizing of the junk drawer in the kitchen. Every, single day.

Since when does accomplishing such things in a day leave you without one minute to calmly answer a question via phone call? Or text your college roommate on her birthday? Or pause on the street corner to listen to that kind man that sometimes stands there and plays the violin? Or grab the scissors, walk to the back of the yard, and pick a couple roses? Or get in your car, order a mocha, and sit on the bench outside the coffee shop sipping it for a couple minutes while staring at the clouds?

And when did having the ability in ones life to appreciate and participate in such things imply that you were NOT successful?

Or, worse, that you were lazy?

There are many broke, unhappy people who are so busy living their lives that they’re not living their lives.

Don’t get me wrong, I have a full schedule. And with Babygirl S expected any minute, it will only be more full in the weeks to come. But that doesn’t mean that I don’t take – that I don’t prioritize – the time to live my life.

I would argue that success means that you are productive and efficient, focused, and well-balanced. Not that you are necessarily busy.

Busy is a state of mind. Too Busy is an opinion. Don’t you think?

Food for thought this Friday afternoon. Having a full and well-rounded schedule isn’t an excuse for not living.

You are NOT too busy to smell those roses. :)


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