Be it in your personal environment or at work, how many times have you said – I am busy/I am held up/can I make time for this later?
Of course am not asking you for the number. Its more of a rhetorical question.
Just think of all the times you have answered to someone with one of the above responses. Or something similar on those lines basically implying that “I don’t think what you’re asking me right now is of priority to me at this moment. And instead of truthfully agreeing that I don’t want to do it, I am going to pretend that I have a lot to do and am busy“.
Yes, people can be busy. You, me, my non-existent billionaire best friend, my existent girlfriend – everyone can be busy. But being busy is all about setting priorities. If its not important for you (albeit even temporarily), you’ll always find ways to be busy rather than actually take time out for that.
Humans always make time for something they find important. Always.
In my share-house, every weekend it is rostered for someone to clean the bathroom and kitchen. Rarely ever does it get done on time.
Reason: I was busy.
Fact: I couldn’t care less about this.
A few of us friends got together to start a new educational non-profit initiative that would help increase the acceptance and completion of free online courses in developing countries. None of us have worked on it for the past 4 months.
Reason: We are busy.
Fact: We are just waiting until someone takes the initiative and pushes others to get the stuff done on time.
One of my friend asked me to proofread his CV so that he could apply for jobs internationally. It took me a month to revert to him.
Reason: I was busy.
Fact: I spent my weekends either reading, sleeping or playing Tekken 7.
“I am busy” is probably the most perfect lie. No one ever questions it and it is convincing enough.
This realisation of being pseudo-busy dawned on me earlier today at work, when I was replying back to a colleague’s email. I was asked to complete some low priority work early this week. Even though I had the time, I kept procrastinating it for later and eventually completed it earlier today.
In my response to him, as I typed “…apologies but I was quite held up this week with….“, something snapped in my head.
I was effectively lying. Not just to him but to myself. I wasn’t busy, I just didn’t prioritise that work to be done, even though I could have done it earlier. I deleted what I had written and rewrote my response – “…. apologies that I didn’t prioritise the work sooner and….“.
Maybe I’ll still be busy. Maybe I’ll still not prioritise work better. And maybe you’ll still be the same. We’re no one to judge someone else. But hopefully, prioritising work and prioritising anything that needs to be done, might just end up for the better.
But I’ll probably do this later. I am busy right now.
Image Courtesy: Volganga, Wallpapertag