Saying “I’m busy” is bad for you. Here is why and what you could do instead.

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SUMMARY:

There are two things that can happen if you tell somebody in front of you “I’m busy.” He can either think that you’re a superhero, super important because you have so many things on your to-do list. Or he might think you’re a moron and you can’t handle your life. That you don’t know how to manage things. What are you hoping for?

  • Think of what are you actually saying when you say “I’m busy”?
  • Think of what it does to you and to your psyche.
  • And think of what you are actually expecting when saying this.

 

Every time “I’m busy” comes into your mind, think of these three things instead:

  1. Creating clarity,
  2. Thinking about service instead of about you, and
  3. Engaging people rather than alienating them.

 

Don’t forget that you’re more capable than you think you are. You can do many more things than you believe you can. The only thing you have to do is to stop saying to people “I’m busy.” And more important, stop saying it to yourself.

 

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Spending time vs adding value

 

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VIDEO TRANSCRIPT AND QUOTES:

Hi, everybody. It’s Tasso.

 

There are so many things that you can do that can change or even transform your life: from working on your mindset, to your physicality and exercising, over to looking at your habits. In fact, I’ve been experimenting with a couple of things that had a tremendous impact on my life, and made a big difference. I’m going to put them together in a post and share them with you very, very soon.

 

However, today, I wanted to focus on the one thing that I believe is so important that it deserves its own post. It is something that you know you should not be doing but you do it anyway. And it is something that you don’t even realize anymore how detrimental it can be to your life. Your private, and your work life.

 

Every time somebody asks you “How’s life?” or “How’s work?” you say, “Busy.” With today’s post, I wanted to draw your attention to your intention. Why are you saying this? What is your message?

 

It has become an automation for us to say “I’m busy.” People use this even if there’s more than one thing to do. So what are you saying there? And in particular, more important, what are you expecting?

 

There are two things that can happen if you tell somebody in front of you “I’m busy.” First, he can think that you’re a superhero, super important because you have so many things on your to-do list. The second thing is that he might think you’re a moron and you can’t handle your life. You don’t know how to manage things. So what are you hoping for? I believe you hope for the first, but let me tell you the chances are very high that it’s the second.


What are you actually saying
when you say “I’m busy”? You’re saying, “I don’t believe that what I do makes sense,” or you’re saying, “I’m not excited about what I’m doing.” You say, “I cannot handle multiple things or complex things.” You’re saying, “Please don’t add more to my schedule because it will cut off my coffee time, and I need my coffee time to complain about my busyness.”

Passionate about what you do

 

Then, look at what saying “I’m busy” does to you. It closes you off. It restricts your mindset and your thinking. You’re not open anymore to new things, to possibilities, to things that might challenge you and stretch you and move you out of your comfort zone.

 

Busy closes mindset

 

You don’t take action anymore because being overwhelmed with all these things, that are going on in your mind, you are not even taking one step forward to move anything into the right direction.

 

The third thing and more important, it keeps people away from you. It isolates you. Saying “I’m busy” doesn’t allow people to help you. People who actually might have wanted to help. And think about it, who would like to be around somebody who says always “I’m busy”? Would you?

 

And finally, what are you expecting when you say “I’m busy”? If you say that at work to your peers, who may be competitors for similar positions, these people would be happy that you’re busy and that you feel overwhelmed. They want to see you fail.

 

Or, what about if you’re saying this to your boss? Would you even say it to your boss? Do you expect your boss to take the workload off from you? He’s the one who gave you the work in the first place. Believe me, I’ve been working with a lot of people who have had a boss not able to delegate things and who was not able to give them things that are moving the organization forward. I can tell you, this is much, much worse to have a boss like this who doesn’t know what to give you to do than to have somebody who actually can delegate and give you the things that are relevant in the organization.

 

Now, having heard of this, what is the alternative? What are the three things that I suggest that you can do? Here they are.

 

Number one: busy is blurry. What do I mean by that? You’ve kept adding and adding and adding things to your schedule and your mind without even tagging them or categorizing them. Things have been piling up and piling up, and you don’t even remember where they came from or who put them there.

 

The first thing you need to do is create clarity. First, clean up the mess. Ask yourself three simple questions to help you in this process.

 

Question one is: does this need to be done at all? This is very easy to put as a filter in front of everything to get rid of those things that you put on your to-do list, but never needed any action because they’re just things that you thought off, and you thought they might be important to look at or to think about.

 

Question two: do I need to do this? Don’t get me wrong. This is not about dumping things on other people that you don’t want to do yourself. It’s about identifying whether you are the right person to do these things. It’s about thinking whether there’s another person who is better suited and more appropriate or better skilled to do the task than you.

 

And question three: Does this need to be done now? You need to define how things fit together and how they fit into the overall context. You need to look at the interdependencies and what impacts what. This way you will be able to identify those elements that if you would do them might, will make everything else either easier or unnecessary. And if you’ve gone through the exercise of this prioritization, you will — if you have a boss and you are an employee — go through this with your boss, run this by him. He might be able to tell you whether this is okay or not. And if not, you just do it together and fine tune together. Don’t forget that bosses actually want to get things done and move things forward. First thing, as I said, busy is blurry. Create clarity.

 

Number two: busy is about you, and that’s not a good place to be, not in this regard. You might not want to hear this but don’t put yourself in the middle of the universe here. Don’t be selfish in this regard. Move yourself from “I am busy” and “I am overwhelmed” to a mindset of service. Think about the people you add value to by doing your work. Move away from “I have so many things to do” to “I get so many things to do,” and that you’re happy that you learn and grow from them. Now you can be happy about yourself. Now, you can revert back to yourself because now it’s from a perspective of gratitude and thankfulness. Become passionate again about what you do and why you do it.

Mindset of service

 

Number three: busy keeps people away. Don’t do this. Don’t be the person who pushes people away and alienates others. Instead engage people. Don’t be the person whom people go around and don’t even dare to ask anything, instead attract them and grab them with your enthusiasm and your energy. When people ask you how you’re doing, don’t say “I’m busy,” instead say, “I’m working on XYZ”. Because, if you’re really involved in so many things and you’re working on so many different projects, chances are that these are things that might interest people and these are things that might help them. And if not, they might be able to give you an eye opening advice, draw your attention to something that you didn’t even consider. They might be able to show you a shortcut or they might be able to open doors for you through their connections and network.

Dont say busy say working on

 

So these are the three things that I would like you to think about. Every time “I’m busy” comes into your mind, creating clarity, thinking about service instead of about you, and finally, engaging people rather than alienating them. Don’t forget that you’re more capable than you think you are. You can do many more things than you believe you can. The only thing you have to do is to stop saying to people “I’m busy.” And one more thing, not only stop saying to people that you’re busy, stop saying it to yourself.

 

With this, I’d love to say thank you for watching this video. I hope it helped you. I hope it served you. I hope you liked it. If you did, please subscribe for more. Until then, I wish you all the best, and have a wonderful, wonderful day.

 

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