I’m Not Busy

Tyler Ward, a blogger and web consultant, argues that being busy isn’t respectable anymore – and I agree.

Do you reply to friends’ questions, “how is life going?” with a “I’m so busy!” “Crazy-busy!” “Just keepin’ busy…”

Peaceful Lake Tahoe.

Lake Tahoe — it’s important to take time away from busyness and go on vacation!


But, outside of major commitments such as medical school, caregiving or required time at work, does filling up our time and having accomplished X number of items any given day from our to-do list actually mean we’ve adding value to our lives and the things in it that are most important to us?

A recent move and a breakup, in addition to my own efforts to create more open space on my calendar has left me with less busyness in my life.

Less activities during my week has been a funny change; I’m used to setting up coffee dates, going to happy hours and attending lectures or classes nearly ever night of the week. For the first time in the 5 years I’ve moved to the city of San Francisco, I haven’t had too much going on for the past two weeks – and it feels nice.

What other strategies am I using to decrease the amount of busyness in my life? I’ve used a few techniques to add more flexibility and time to my day: less TV and no going out to dinners during the week, commuting to work by walking or running instead of additional gym time (with my new apartment, I’m now only 2 1/2 miles from work so this is feasible) and more strategic dinner preparations (many leftovers, easy-to-assemble meals, plus one of the best kitchen inventions ever: the slow cooker).

Doing less & being more strategic with my time has allowed me more peacefulness in my life. I’m actually getting a decent amount of sleep, feeling more alert and less stressed and more centered in devoting energy in only the activities that feel most valuable to me. It’s been pretty awesome.

Tyler challenges, in his blog post, for readers to refrain from using the word “busy” to answer the question, “how are you?” His point is also that we should reflect on what we are doing and make ourselves less busy by being more selective, for the benefit of ourselves and the things that matter in our lives.

I’m going to take the challenge: for the entire month of February, when someone asks me how I am, I won’t use the term “busy”.


Want to join me and Tyler?

Follow Tyler on Twitter at @tylerwardis


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