“Being busy is a form of laziness – lazy thinking”

Remember when Sheryl Sandberg made it her mission to ban the use of the word bossy? Don’t worry, eye-rollers, this isn’t a girl power blog post about #banbossy. Rather, I like Sheryl’s concept of eliminating a word from our vocabulary that’s, essentially, bullshit. In that spirit, I’d like to start the #banbusy movement and remove use of the word busy.

At work: Did you get that task done?
Sorry, I’m just so busy.
In life: Did you work out?
I don’t have time, I’m too busy.
All the time: How are you?
(overwhelmed sigh) BUSY.

Seriously, can we stop it with the busy? Do we all have things going on? Of course. But when “busy” is the go-to first response to anything, especially a simple question asking how our life is going, that’s a problem. Either we’re truly too overcommitted, or busy has become nothing but a way out, an excuse, or worse, some sort of goal or contest, like you should feel bad if you’re not busy. And I get it, I’ve done it. But it’s time to stop.

New priority

Now that I’m a parent, it would be easier than ever to use the word busy. Do I get to the gym after work anymore? No, I get up super early to work out…or I sleep in and don’t. It’s not that I’m too busy, I’d just rather spend more time with my son.

It’s new responsibilities and different priorities, and fitting in what I truly want the most. Remember my blog about not being too busy to dress up my baby in a Halloween costume? It’s not that I’m busy, it’s that I just don’t care.

When Sheryl sought to ban the word bossy, it wasn’t necessarily that the word never applies. It was meant to stop use of the word when referring to a girl stepping up, taking charge, or delegating to others. Instead of being quick to assign girls the label of “bossy” replace it with a word that accurately described them like tenacious, responsible, a leader. The idea that the word is only used when referring to strong girls was the problem, not as much the word itself.

This is the same with the word busy. Is it sometimes accurate? Of course. But too often it’s not used appropriately. It’s not an excuse and it’s not a bragging right, so it needs to stop being used in those situations.

We all have the same 24 hours in a day. While some of us have different priorities and responsibilities than others, that’s exactly what they are. So let’s stop making busyness an excuse, a badge of honor, and a contest. Not being busy is okay – and it’s good for us.

Let’s #banbusy. Who’s with me? Comment or tweet me @LindsayIRL.


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