©2017 by Optimal Performance Management.

Sorry. I'm Too Busy...

February 22, 2019

We all have those things that push our buttons, right? I shouldn’t admit this, but I recently had a rash of encounters that not only pushed one of those buttons for me—but completely smashed it! My trigger was (and is) the overuse of “I’m too busy.” 


(Let me stray from my story and share something with you. There are some really great resources regarding this topic that helped me understand why it gets under my skin. If podcasts are your thing, How to Prioritize Your Life and Make Time for What Matters is a great one. At 13:40 of the podcast, they really get into the “busy is a decision” aspect so you can always skip ahead if you are short on time [do you like how I didn’t say “too busy”?]. And if you are feeling overwhelmed, this is a helpful read, Break Free from Being Too Busy.)


But back to the “too busy” button, a big takeaway from all of this, at least for me, is the unintended message we send to others when we say that dreaded phrase:




1. I am inefficient/I don’t manage my time well.

2. I don’t care.

3. I have difficulty saying no.

4. I am more important or of higher status than you.

     (“I am busy, you are not”)


THANKFULLY, around the same time I came across a rash of “I’m too busy” and was about to lose my mind, I heard the following about my own team:


No matter how hectic a day, your staff are always so helpful and kind.

I know I can count on you guys; you all are always willing to contribute.


And I heard from our own group:


Let me know if we can assist you.

I love how our team helps each other.

My job can be hectic—and I LOVE it!

I feel energized with all the new things we are doing.


This is AMAZING! I love that they get it. You just feel it. It makes me proud to work here.  In turn, it makes them proud to work here. We are busy—because we chose to be, because we have the privilege to be! And we are getting important work done. But none of us are too busy to be a good teammate, cheerleader, or to provide an occasional assist, and your staff will most certainly follow your example!  


It is not enough to be busy. So are the ants. The question is: What are we busy about?                                                              –Henry David Thoreau



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