Stop Saying I'm Busy

When was the last time you said you were busy? Was it in the last hour, within the day, or within the week? I would have to think that most could say they have used that phrase at least once in the last week. I know it's true for me.

We live in a culture that glamorizes the word busy. How many times have you been asked the basic question, "How have you been?" or "What's new?" and you answered by saying you have been just so busy. I know I am one of the first to admit that I have been there and I have said that too many times to count and I honestly didn't think too much of it until recently. While yes, I often argue to the fact that everyone is busy and that's never a real excuse. But I didn't think about it too much or really how much I, along with the rest of society say it.

It really hit me as I listened to a Podcast the other day while running where they talked about our "Busy Culture" and that terrible "B word". The girls in the podcast talked about how they have stopped using the word busy and started being more intentional with their words and with their lives. I loved that and I have challenged myself to stop saying I'm busy. (Honestly, I'd argue that some of my best thoughts occur while running...but that's a story for another post.) To stop responding to people with "I'm busy" and walking away or leaving the conversation. Over the past few months I have definitely been more conscious of this and more intentional about using the word, but moving forward I really want to stop using it all together.

When asked the question, how have you been, I have come to think that you and I can answer in two ways. For me, I can simply say, "I've been so busy!" and just stop. Or, I could say, "I work quite a bit, but it's good because I really like my job, and I've been running a lot training for a half marathon but I've come to really enjoy that me-time outside in nature, and I've been focusing on making time to see friends and family". I'd like to bet we all would prefer the second answer. Because that's the thing, when we simply say we're busy, that suddenly turns down a conversation and an opportunity to connect with people. Something I feel this culture is lacking in so, so much. Instead, by explaining what we've been up to, we open a door for a conversation. We open the door to foster relationships and develop communities. That's what I'm trying to do.

I think this stems from being intentional with our words and with our actions. Plain and simple, we are all busy. Your busy is different than my busy, and we are not called to judge the way someone else uses their time or how someone else fills their cup. Being intentional means seeking that conversation and carving out time. Quality time is my love language, for those that have heard of the five love languages, and because of that, I crave that one-on-one time with people, face to face. That quality time where we all take a break from our "busy lives" is where the real and raw bits of life develop. That's the time where instead of saying "Oh I am just so busy!" we can say to a friend, "I see you have a lot going on right now, what can I do?" Why don't we start looking at this busy culture and instead of competing to be busier or instead of trying to overfill our cups, why don't we reach out to others?

You are only as good as the things you fill your cup, and fill your life with. Fill it with positive energy and people who make you feel full after talking with them. Move beyond social media and beyond the text messages and see people face to face. Sip coffee together, go on a hike, or even run errands together. It saddens me looking around at a culture that relies on text messages and Instagram posts to stay up to date with one another. Don't get me wrong, I love social media and the power it has to connect us. I love being able to stay in the know with friends and family that don't live near me. But we cannot let that replace the raw and real conversations that happen outside of the computer screen and our iPhones.

So stop saying you're too busy, and take a look at your cup. What are you filling it with? What can stay, and what really needs to go? Because I can bet we all have things we do to "stay busy" that are really unnecessary and are just taking away the raw bits of our lives. Seek to be intentional with your time and intentional with your words. Aim to fill that cup with everything that is good in life and things that are designed to bring you true joy. Carve out time each week to simply be open and allow life to just happen. Because that is when the true joys and beauty of this life will break through.


  1. I’d extend it even further, and suggest that we need to say no to “shoulds” across more areas of our life. Too many of us live life just so that other people think we’re “winning” at it, rather than following our hearts when they might take us in an unconventional direction.


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