Time Management 101: The Falsity of Busy

A few years ago I had a dentist appointment. I’m one of those very few people that loves going to the dentist. That’s probably because I don’t have any cavities and haven’t had any major dental work so all I ever get is a cleaning. I was chatting with the hygienist while she cleaned and when the dentist came in she asked the same question that most people ask, “How’s it going?” I gave my standard answer that I have been giving for awhile, “Good. Busy. You?"

This particular instance I kept going by saying, “I’m sorry. I hate giving that answer.” From that moment of brevity we launched into the most hilarious conversation about how we are sooooo busy. The convo went a little like this:

D: I say that all the time too. Do you have kids?
Me: No.
D: Me either. I’m not married either. I have a cat. And I work part-time. Yet I’m sooooo busy.
Me: Haha. Me too. I do work full time but I don’t know how other people do it all sometimes.
D: Me either because I’m so busy watching TV with my cat.

At that instance I knew we were kindred souls as we bonded over our ‘we might be the crazy cat lady’ obsession. That’s another story for another day and I won’t bore you with that conversation.

I realize we are all busy. It might be different kinds of busy but busy all the same. Time management is always a hot topic amongst our friends and colleagues and I get asked about time management strategies all the time. I guess because I appear to have it all figured out.

That’s a total lie.

I’m just as frazzled as everyone else. While my demeanor might still be stable it has manifested in other ways for me. Specifically physically because I struggle with weight {yet another story for another day}.

I tell people that I’m like a great Monet masterpiece. From afar I’m beautiful and well put together but when you get up close I’m just a chaotic mess.

I wish I could tell you that I have all the answers to managing time. I do not. I’m still a work in progress too. I can tell you what I’m working on.

  1. I’m scheduling free time on my calendar: If it’s not scheduled it’s not real in my world. So I’m adding that ‘me time’ as an appointment on my calendar. Then it will happen.
  2. I’m getting rid of stuff: I do NOT do well in clutter. Whether that is physical clutter, mental clutter, business clutter. I’m getting rid of it and creating SPACE. I’m starting with physical clutter because that will help with the mental. And I’m slashing services I offer clients.
  3. I’m changing my busy answer: Back to my conversation with my dentist. I refuse to answer busy anymore to the how are things going question. The conversation needs to be, “I’m awesome, how are you?"
  4. Saying hellz to the NO: This is the hardest for me. I want to help people and I want them to like me so I offer to help. That has to stop because I cannot compromise #1 anymore. I’m working on my fuck off script without actually saying that and still offering resources so I can still help them without actually doing the work.

I’d like to say this process is easy. It is not. And I’m very open to other people’s idea on how they are handling this ‘busy’ issue. I don’t want to say I’m not grateful for all of it because it means that people trust me. I’m just saying that I need more hours in the day. That’s what everyone says too but I have to create those hours. They aren’t just magically going to appear. Although if I could do that… That’s a million dollar idea there.

Join me in the creating more time conversation. Use hashtag #CreatingMoreTime to chime in on the conversation on how you are creating more time in your life.