So, for the first time this school year, I overheard someone say, “Sorry, I’ve been too busy.” I will spare any more details than that to protect the innocent (or the guilty I suppose?) The “I’m too busy” line drives me crazy. It literally makes my skin crawl. We are all busy. We all have lives and we all have things we’d rather be doing than work. Sometimes, however, work needs to be done and it might mean that you have to give up watching American Idol one night to get it done.
This is coming out rather harshly. I don’t mean to suggest that we should never say “no” to anything and that having time to relax isn’t important. In fact, a big part of the Time Diet philosophy is scheduling in relaxing things, the equivalent of “desserts” in a regular diet. However, another important tenant of the Time Diet is that every single thing we do during the day is a choice. Rather than saying you’re “too busy” say that you’ve chosen to use your time doing other things. That may seem like just a difference of semantics, but it’s really a whole attitude shift.
Saying, “I’ve been too busy” is a line that simultaneously gives an excuse for not having something done and attempts to makes the speaker seem more important than the listener. After all, the busier you are, the more important you are, right? (blatant sarcasm) Saying, “I’ve chosen to use my time with other things” on the other hand shows that you recognize that only you are in control of your time. It’s also a lot easier to truthfully use that line when the “other things” you’re talking about are work or family related and not vegging out on the sofa.