If I were to name the word that I hear most often in conversations these days, I would say BUSY! I don’t think that BUSY is all it is cracked up to be. People wear BUSY like a badge of honor – as though NOT being busy is a bad thing. Webster defines busy as occupied, full of bustle, not free. If we actually think about those definitions, I believe we can see a dark side.
Occupied – as in “someone is in here – don’t come in” (picture the signs on the bathroom door on an airplane). When we are busy, we are choosing to keep others out. Quite often, we need to do this – we need time to focus, get things done, or be alone with our thoughts. However, I sometimes see people use busy/occupied as a way to lock others out and appear to not have time for anything else. Heaven knows, I have been guilty of this.
Full of bustle –as in scurrying around, full of people or things. When we are in a place that is bustling, it can be energizing or it can be draining. Quiet and bustle do not coexist. When we are always in a place in our lives (I don’t mean a specific location) that is full of bustle, we have no time to decompress or reflect or be alone with ourselves.
Not free – as in unavailable. I know some people that are never available to anyone or anything. They are not free. Imagine not being available to your family, your staff, your boss, your friends. You may be physically there, but you aren’t available. If you’re not free, it’s like being imprisoned … only imprisoned in your own scheduled life.
You can probably hear my bias about being busy. I'm SICK OF IT!!! I still find myself being too busy, but I am working at being less so. My coach and I worked on the idea that I need to create some space – some unbusy, unscheduled space to let in whatever is wanting to get into my life. The space may be for someone or something, but the new won’t be able to come into my life if I don’t create some space. I don’t think the space we create has to be big, and that is why I love the video about small talk (and the book – The Power of Small). Notice what happened in the lives of these two women in a simple 30 seconds a few times a week. When we are FREE and not BUSY, we can find the time to say hello to someone or write a note or make a quick call. I really believe that out of small things can come huge benefits – to us or someone else.
Will you try something with me? Let’s stop talking about how busy we are this week– let’s find a way to be UNOCCUPIED, NON-BUSTLING, and FREE. Make a small space for something wonderful to happen. No powerful question this week – just a powerful request!