find time for what's important

Are You ‘Too Busy’?

I know you’re busy so I’m going to get to the point: we use the excuse or the story that we’re ‘too busy’ all the time. Regardless of what you’re spending your time doing, you’re filling it with something. But are you filling it with the right things? Or does your story just say that you’re too busy, preventing you from doing the right things?

We somehow equate being busy with being valuable. We pride ourselves on what we accomplish or involve ourselves in, and somehow being busy fulfills an inner desire to be worth more, or just worthy. Being self-employed, I see a big difference between busyness and business, and I’ve learned from experience how to put twice as much into my life.

I’ve learned that people will always make time and money for the things that are important to them, and that things that matter least often get in the way of things that matter most. I’ve also learned that we use the reasonable excuse that we’re ‘too busy’ to do things that we really don’t want to do, or are afraid to do.

Prime Examples

Almost nine years ago, a woman from Sudbury contacted me several times to show me a service that would help my business grow. I was ‘too busy’ to listen. Thankfully, she was persistent because I finally listened to her after her tenth attempt to follow up with me, and my business has grown and benefited tremendously as a result of using her service. When I look back on the experience, I wonder, “What was I thinking? How could I have been ‘too busy’ to listen to something so beneficial?” It took me too long to make time and money for something that was important—building a bigger business—because I was too wrapped up in the day-to-day operation of the way things were going at the time to see the importance of implementing a new tool.

An example of things that matter least occupying my time instead of those that matter most is when I added the task of writing my book to the already full plate I had. I used to find things to keep me busy, so I couldn’t write the book! Things like alphabetizing my paper clips, organizing my drawers, cleaning my floors, and other useless tasks I could use to fool myself into seeming busy, but I wasn’t doing the right things to get me closer to my goals.

In relationships, people use ‘too busy’ to have important conversations. If a relationship is in trouble, one (or more) of the parties in that relationship may find themselves ‘too busy’ to talk about the needs of the relationship as they put things that matter least before the critical conversations or resolutions that need to be nurtured.

We Can Put More In

Did you ever notice that some people can get two, three, or even four times more done in a day than you can in a week? Notice how they’re not ‘too busy’? They’re not spending time talking about how busy they are or creating excuses for why they can’t do what they want or need to do. They’re just doing it—all of it—and they’re open for more. Recognize that we use the reasonable excuse of having other things that occupy our time in order to avoid doing things that are difficult, important (although we do not value them as such), or frightening. Never underestimate the fact that fear drives so much of our behavior, but the ego masks this fear with reasonable excuses that we actually believe.

We use ‘too busy’ as a habit-forming crutch. We create habits of doing and not doing because we’re ‘too busy’ to be doing what we need to be doing!

How do we self-correct? We need to be very clear about what we’re up to. Be on to yourself. Notice when your addiction to urgency and busyness distracts you from the most important things in your life. Ask yourself, “Why? Why am I alphabetizing my paper clips, organizing my drawers or cleaning my floors when there are areas of my life calling out for my attention?”

What’s Your Excuse?

If you’re not really too busy, then what’s your excuse? The truth is that there is none. Pack your life full of all the things you need to say ‘yes’ to, including rest and relaxation, new business opportunities, doubling your sales and income, having those difficult conversations, and all the things within your reach. Time is a gift, and we only have so much of it. Seize each moment. It would be a shame to give up on a dream because you’re ‘too busy’ to make the time and effort to accomplish it. The time will pass anyway, with or without you trying, so just believe that there is always more space to be more, do more and have more.

If ‘too busy’ sounds like your story, you’re actually telling the universe to hold off on delivering you any more because you’re jam-packed and you have no space left as it is.

Where are you using the excuse of ‘too busy’ in your life, that’s preventing you from living the life of your dreams?

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p.s. I have all the time in the world for all of my readers, clients and referrals. Bring it on!