Friday, March 12, 2010
"Doing nothing is better than being busy doing nothing" - Lao Tzu
The Honest Man is taking my readers to school. Today's subject: Busy. You're probably wondering what in the hell is he talking about. I'm talking about folks who use the word "busy" so much that's it's become a crutch to their daily lifestyle. Whether it's talking in general about life or asking for simple work requests, that word seems to pop into the conversation. Sample conversation below. This is an instant messenger conversation where the recipient's status says available.
Me: "Hey man, what's happening?"
Busy Person: "Man I am so busy right now with stuff, I can't talk"
Is this person you? Is that what you tell folks on a consistent basis? Now this is recipient is a combination of people I have dealt with either professionally or socially. And we are all pretty much on the same level. Business analyst. IT analyst. Accountant. Auditor. Consultant. You get the drift. Not the CEO. Not the Vice President. Shit, not even a first line supervisor or manager. A fucking analyst. Think about that for a second while I discuss more...
He was so busy that he couldn't talk. Nevermind that his status said available AND he wasn't so busy where he had time to respond. Last time I checked, green means go on the traffic light. So if the light says green, that means you're available. Otherwise, simply log off chat or at least put the away status on.
I know time can get away from me some days but in reality am I really THAT busy? Hell naw. And this is from a man with a wife and multiple kids. Young kids at that. Juggling that family lifestyle is time consuming on its' own. Then I have to switch gears and do work for the powers that be. And even with that, I still find time to break out the playstation or watch a movie or read a book or write the Honest Man blog (wink wink). If you are single or without kids and are reading this, I'm talking to you. You may be busy but trust me, you ain't as busy as you think you are. Don't believe. Switch roles with me and see if you maintain.
I hear what the naysayers are saying. Yea, yea Honest Man, you don't know me like that or my lifestyle to be passing judgment. The Honest Man's response is shut da fuck up. Oh you thought I was going to give you the Hallmark card and a hug. Fuck that. The Hallmark advice is stop using that word "busy" as you're crutch, be like Mike and Just Do It!
The reality is you are no more busier than any of your peers at your level. You are just caught up on making yourself sound more important than you actually need to be by using that word. The desired effect you want when you say "I'm busy" is that the recipient goes wow Man the Honest Man is doing it. In reality, the Honest Man ain't doing shit. At least not compared to someone who has equal status or responsibilities.
I'm not saying "busy" shouldn't be in the vocabulary. I'm saying it should not be consistently in your vocabulary. Not unless you the CEO, Vice President, or to a certain extent first line manager. Get it, got it, I know it's good, the advice I write, you wish you could :-)