Busy isn't sexy

How many of you are guilty of always replying “I’m so busy!” when someone asks how you’re doing?

I am!

It became a completely normal response for me, but the way that I said it was a kind mash up of glorified stress that made me feel kind of important on the outside but the on the inside I was crumbling. The word had a negative connotation for me, and the more I said it the more I fell into the spiral of stress and being overworked. Even when the reality could sometimes be that I was actually doing pretty okay, but the habit of being “busy” had formed this negative pattern.

At the beginning of this year I decided enough is enough. I no longer want to glorify the word. I want it out of my vocabulary. I no longer want to open up the path for others that could lead them down a spiral of stress.  If somebody asks me how I’m doing, I’m going to respond with something positive and set the tone for our interaction as I intend to leave it; with full energy and positive mindset.


In a business setting, there is a general consensus that being busy means that you’re excelling. You’re contributing. You’re being a valuable team player. It either shows that you’re a “yes” person, or that you’re a person of such importance that you’re involved in a multitude of topics which has inevitably filled up your calendar. For many employees, being busy is coming from a place of fear, where they believe that if they are not, then they are seen to be only doing the bare minimum which impacts their self-esteem. Or even worse, that if they are not seen as being busy, they will be prescribed more workload above their capacity to fulfill at the quality expected.

Photo by Skitterphoto on Pexels.com

Handling “busy” at work:

  • Respond to “How are you?” with a positive emotion and a smile. It will set the tone for the other person and keep the energy high.
  • Use the opportunity to discuss a project that you’re working on and some challenges that you’re facing. Maybe they can help or point you in the right direction.
  • If you have a deadline, kindly excuse yourself but follow up with a coffee catch up when you have more time. This way, you’re respecting your workload but showing your colleagues that you’re managing your time to make time for them in the future.


When you’re busy at home, what message are you sending yourself and others?

We all have things in our lives that need to get done. That comes down to making lists or prioritising properly (see my other blog post about lists!), as well as creating a life balance for ourselves (notice how I didn’t say work-life balance? More on that next month!). Nevertheless, when we are repeatedly too busy for dinner, coffee, yoga a phone call or even to reply (yes! I’ve heard this one before), then what that is saying is that I’m not making space for you in my life. That I’m not valuing our time together to give us the space.

Often that is not the truth, it’s a whole bunch of other life things that can get in the way that are preventing us from enjoying and making space for friendships and relationships, even when we are the only ones responsible for those things that are getting in the way.

So, to conclude this post, we need to take some responsibility for our lives and how we put them together. We need to be accountable for our actions if we take on too much. We must recognise our own needs in order to live a fulfilled life so we can govern ourselves accordingly.

I want to tell you that being busy does not define your self-worth!

So, let’s stop glorifying it and start living beautiful, fulfilled lives.

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