Many years ago I knew a man who was phenomenally successful. He’d built his company from scratch in a very lucrative sector. By early middle age he was a multi-millionaire. I remember him saying to me when we were out for a drink one night that people often said to him they were ‘busy, busy, busy.’ He laughed and said to me “what a load of bullshit.” He knew they were trying to sound important. I knew him for some years and I observed that while he would work hard, he never went on about it. He made sure he used his time wisely and enjoyed his leisure time. I’m sure that along the way to his success he must have suffered many a sleepless night and been phenomenally busy but he never had the urge to whine or boast about it. The proof was in his actions not his words, he didn’t need to appear important.
Fast forward to now. Recently I’ve heard people say, “I’m busy” an awful lot and quite frankly I’m beginning to find it a bit insulting. Firstly, it seems to be an excuse at times for not being efficient and secondly, by saying it, it is as if the person thinks no one is busy but them, and the implication from that is that they are more important than anyone else. Not a good look in my book.
Other people have noticed this too. There are those that say they are ‘busy’ and those that excuse poor communication by saying they have been in ‘back to back meetings.’ Yes, we all slip up sometimes but come on, technology has never made it easier to keep in touch. It takes a nano second to send a text and not much longer to send a polite email. By leaving it a week to respond to a question, all you are doing is showing that you are rude or disorganised or both. The most successful people I know are actually the most accessible and often the most humble too.
Then today I came across this article which made for a very interesting read. It’s a potted history of how the cult of busyness came about.
Now we are all heading back to some kind of normality, it would be nice if the selfishness could take a back seat after all the trauma of surviving a pandemic and if instead of constantly saying, “I’m busy,” people could consider how to organise their time so that they can be more efficient in what they do and make time for others. If indeed they are that busy.
I’ve kept this post short because, y’know, I’m er, nope, not going to say it!
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