Why I’ll never say “I’m busy”, again

I’m busy. Probably my least favourite sentence of 2016, and the pain-point for KD and You’s newest theme.

Im busy

For those of you just joining me, welcome to the ANTI-BUSY Revolution. A movement with the hustle and heart to banish busyness to restore productivity and simplicity, to an over-complicated world.

Today, much like every day, I caught myself thinking:

Who am I when I’m busy?

And then I got this pain in my stomach — totally unrelated to the chocolate croissant for breakfast… Ahem.

I realized when I’m busy, there are so many other things that I am not able to BE and this made me overwhelmingly sad and guilty. I pride myself on my self-awareness and emotional intelligence, but even the ANTI-BUSY Revolution’s messenger can suffer from the “busyness virus”. Being busy is not how I want to show up, and here’s…

Why I will never be busy again:

When I’m busy, I’m not present. I miss the nuances and thoughts that captivate my attention, and spark my creative thinking. When I’m going 100 miles a minute I prevent myself from “stopping to smell the roses”, and finding peace in the moment.

When I’m busy, I’m overwhelmed. I become scattered and entrenched in the action of the activities. I lose resonance, become frazzled and slip into dissonance and apathy. Life just seems to lose meaning when I’m desperately trying to navigate the mine field of busy.

When I’m busy, I don’t have time to dream. I lose the space to vision for myself the life I want to live on the daily. Dreaming become a novelty, and without it I lose the expansive nature of fluid thought.

When I’m busy, I self-select out of opportunities. Some of my best opportunities and most memorable experiences have been born out of trivial beginnings. There occur when I’m not under pressure in the presence of social media, volunteering, or while at local events. In my flurry of busyness, I categorize these events under “distractions” and opt-out. The sad reality is that these are the places where serendipitous moments occur and opportunities arise.

im busy

When I’m busy, I don’t have time to contemplate. Without quiet reflective space I am unable to analyze or form connections between events and draw meaning and purpose back into my life. My days become a series of isolated events that do not propel me into self realization. In essence, I lose the mental space to personally develop — one of my favourite things to do!

When I’m busy, I’m emotionally zoned out. When there is too much noise it is hard to access feelings and emotions — my own and other peoples’. I become emotionally deaf and I start to neglect relationships. Not only is this a disservice to my loved ones, but it’s also a disservice to the legacy I want to leave behind.

When I’m busy, my vision becomes blurry because I’m moving too fast. When I’m juggling too many things I tend to miss the details. I become so vested in the tasks at hand that so much drops to the wayside including self-care, and the needs of my loved ones. Ultimately, I forget to take care of myself and others.

When I’m busy, I don’t prioritize. When sh*t hits the fan and tasks become hot potatoes, I start to run around to salvage some element of consistency and grace. What I miss in all my chaos is the time to prioritize, and I forget the things that matter the most. More often than not, the things that I value the most do not exist on my checklist; things like frequently connecting with family or being there for a friend.

When I’m busy, I forget my why. I become distracted and try to methodically accomplish task by task. When I am in checklist mode, I’m not connected to my “why” which is the reason the task exists in the first place. My “why” is what drives how I want to show up in the world, and without it being front and center I am not being my genuine self.

If you’re not busy, what are you?

Great question! When I’m not busy, I am free to be the most unadulterated version of myself.

When I'm not consumed by busyness, I live ON purpose, WITH intention.
I can happen to life rather than have it happen to me.

I want to be clear: having a lot to do is NOT the problem. It’s when your laundry list lacks purpose. That’s when we create a tragic situation destine for burnout. In saying YES to everything, I am saying NO to the very things that make my life meaningful.

For me, a life without meaning is not worth living — that is the epitome of why I will never by busy again.


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