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Thanks, I Know You’re Really Busy!


Robby

Here’s something people say to me all the time. “I know you’re a really busy person.” Then they go on to ask me for a favor, or a meeting, or to give them some advice.

Well, I want people to stop that. Not asking for the favor, the meeting, or the advice. I want them to stop saying “You’re really busy.” In fact, I want to declare a moratorium on the word “busy.”

Busy working
© Flickr User AdamCaudill

I don’t like the word “busy” because everyone is busy. If you’re not busy, you’re not working. (And if you’re not working, you are either busy looking for work, busy being retired, or busy enjoying your vacation. Right?)

But mostly I dislike the word “busy” because it’s an excuse. The expression “I know you are a really busy person, so…” is like the expression “Don’t take this the wrong way, but…” We use these phrases to allow ourselves to ask something which we feel would be inappropriate.

However, whatever you are going to ask for isn’t bad just because I am “busy.” I still have the right to say no. So go ahead and ask me what you want me to do, and let me decide if I want to do it.

The Other Side of Busy

We also say “Busy!” when people ask us how we are doing with our jobs or our job search. That is just shorthand for saying “I’m doing stuff and I’m tired.”

Why not say what you are doing instead? “I’m great! I am working on a project for a client right now.”

Or even: “I’m having a rough week. We lost some business and I made a mistake.”

“Busy” doesn’t mean anything, except to keep you from saying what you mean.

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About the Blogger: Robby Slaughter is a productivity speaker and expert. He is a principal with a AccelaWork, an Indianapolis consulting firm.

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Tue, February 25 2014 » Leadership, Self Development, Success Consciousness

2 Responses

  1. Laura Wilson August 14 2014 @ 4:10 pm

    Never made the connection before that "busy" is an nondescript as "thing" and "stuff." Yet another reason to avoid the word – thanks for your insights.

  2. robbyslaughter August 19 2014 @ 2:50 pm

    You are welcome, Laura! And thanks for writing!

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