My New Mantra: I’m actually not that busy

Leaving Singapore, I was burnt out by the intensity of my life, my job and especially the fast pace that sometimes made me feel that my busy-ness was on steroids.

The most amazing part of living in Spain is that it was the exact opposite of Singapore’s pace… It was significantly slower and it opened my eyes to a new way of life.

So when I moved back to Singapore, I had the intention of ensuring that my pace of life was under my control. But over the months, I have quickly fallen back in the mode that I have become uncontrollably busy.

Was I trying to glorify my busy life? Was Brene Brown right when she said that if we’re not busy, we think our lives become less important? Was always being busy, another way for me to reinforce that I was not enough?

The Real Problem With Being Too Busy

When you meet someone who asks how you are, and you tell them that you are “Great, but busy” what are you actually saying? I know it can be a pickle; for example, I have a friend who works from home and her elderly neighbor would knock on the door five times a day, just to see if she’s busy, or to say hello – a sweet gesture, but completely untimely. She has now resorted to telling the neighbor that she’s busy, very, very busy, with the result that the knocking has decreased by about 25%. But my friend’s productivity levels have dropped as a result of increased agitation at the constant disruptions.

What happens in your mind when you say “I’m busy”?busy

  • I don’t have time for you
  • I am overwhelmed
  • I don’t have a good work/life balance

The Law of Attraction says that whatever we put out there is what we receive more of. Do you want to have less time? Do you want to be overwhelmed? Do you want a great career and no “me” time?

That’s what you’ll get if you keep saying it – so say with me “I am not actually that busy!”

How I got to say that I’m actually not that busy!

Two weeks ago, I bumped into a friend, and of course when I asked him how he was, he said what I have been saying “Oh I am good, but super busy”. Hearing this, I decided to do a little experiment.

I decided to make myself a new mantra and test it out for two weeks, which I posted it up on bedroom wall.

busyI have replaced all the “I don’t have time”, “Everything is good, but so crazy”, and replacing that with “I have a lot on my plate and I will keep that in mind, but as of now it’s not a priority,” just to see if that made a difference.

I identified things that I didn’t enjoy doing and put them aside. I don’t check my personal mail very often now, because it’s not a priority. I also started taking myself out of projects that, although they were exciting, I didn’t have time for. The sole purpose of this is to ensure that I spend all my time on things that are priorities in terms of what I enjoy and that align with my core focus and passion – where I see my life heading.

In Psychology Today, using this kind of terms, because it generally is an inaccurate assessment of a situation and that prevents us from understanding what is actually happening on and how to fix it.

Changing our language reminds us that time is a choice. If we don’t like the way we design our hour doing something we don’t like, then do something differently.

I’m still not actually that busy!

This week was more productive than ever. Other than my coaching calls, I was able have 4 coffee meetings with people I really wanted to connect with, and I finished my sales page of my first online program (which I am VERY excited about!).
I let the creative process take its time – I allowed myself to go on walks, watch a couple of movies and just daydream. The best version of me is when I am not put into a corner, but when I have the space to express what I need to.

So what about you? Do you want to feel as fantabulous as I do? Then why not join me and be un-busy too. Next time someone asks you how you are doing, what do you say? “Awesome, I am actually not that busy.”

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