I was recently directed to a great article about being busy. I have always found it strange and interesting that talking about how busy we are seems to be the standard reply to someone we’ve not seen in a while. “Hey! How’s it going?” “Great, I’ve been so busy!!”
Whether it’s with children, parents, work, friends…we’re all so “busy” all the time. But the author of the aforementioned article wanted to challenge herself after she found that she was always saying how busy she was. Her best weapon, writing down exactly how she spend her time. What she found was quite interesting; she wasn’t exactly as busy as she thought, she was just spending her time differently. On keeping a time journal she says,
Owning up to how we spend our hours gives us more control of our time, and ultimately, of our lives.
I also find myself getting frustrated with people when they say they just can’t do x, y, or z because they are so busy (especially working out — and I put myself in that category!). But the best part about the article is that the author reminds us that how we spend our time really is our choice. I know we have to work around other people’s schedules for things, but how we manage the time between is all up to us. The author summarizes by stating the following:
Change your language. Instead of saying “I don’t have time” try saying “it’s not a priority,” and see how that feels. Often, that’s a perfectly adequate explanation. I have time to iron my sheets, I just don’t want to. But other things are harder. Try it: “I’m not going to edit your résumé, sweetie, because it’s not a priority.” “I don’t go to the doctor because my health is not a priority.” If these phrases don’t sit well, that’s the point. Changing our language reminds us that time is a choice. If we don’t like how we’re spending an hour, we can choose differently.
I’m reminded again that so much of life is about choices. So rather than complaining that I’m swamped at work (because it is 3-weeks to tax day!) I need to remember that even how I divvy up my time at the office is my choice. And I’m choosing to take time to enjoy my surroundings, co-workers, and yes, even our crazy last-minute, busy, clients!