I have found, as many before me, that with age comes added responsibility and a much larger to-do list. I’m arguably busier than I’ve ever been in my life with managing a marriage, a new baby, a company, and working on several other projects. Opportunity surrounds us, and I want to take it all in. I hope to learn, experience, and do as much as I can (or even can’t sometimes) throughout my life. I thoroughly enjoy meeting new people, learning new things, and finding other ways of applying the little that I know.
While pondering all of this on my way to Salt Lake City this morning and after catching myself saying “I’m so busy,” to those around me, I couldn’t help but think how this claim might sound to the receiver. Does that phrase add any value to the person listening? Does that make them feel important? If it doesn’t, then do away with it. When you sit down with someone, give them your full attention and let them know you value what they have to say and that you’re not too “busy” to meet and listen to them. I think I’ll be a better listener and giver by omitting this cliche from my vocabulary and large list of excuses.
Regardless if you’re busy or not, don’t let it be a justification or something you proclaim to those you come in contact with. If you’re too busy, say “no” more often, even to exciting opportunities. Delegate and be as honest as you can with your time and the engagements you’re involved in. Rarely, if ever, does being busy have to do with time, rather, it has everything to do with priorities. Make sure people are your number one priority.
Originally published Feb 14, 2006