I hate the world “busy.” I suppose it’s not the word itself that I hate, but the way we often use it.


Friend of Pete: How are you Pete?


Pete: Oh man, I’m busy.



After “fine” or “good,” “busy” is the next most frequent response people give me when I ask them how they are doing.



Shun busyness. Why? Because too often, busyness is the flip side of laziness.

[Tweet “Too often busyness is the flip-side of laziness @davefleming360”]

We don’t tend to think of busyness as a form of laziness. We think of a busy person as the very opposite of lazy. But consider what laziness really is. A lazy person avoids important work through frivolous activity. Is it possible to say the same is true of busy person? A “busy” person avoids important work, and instead focuses on frivolous activity. This really changes the idea of busy. It shifts it from a badge of honor to a really bad way to spend your time. Is it possible that being busy is a way to avoid the really important work? Perhaps busyness keeps me from moving into challenging work. I keep “busy” with work that isn’t as hard and certainly isn’t as important. And what is lost? My energy. My energy is lost on trivial pursuits.


I suggest you move from busyness to productivity. Don’t buy into the lie that you’re “just so busy” that you don’t even have time to breathe. What good is that frame anyway? Instead, become a person of courage (do the hard work) and focus (stay with the hard work). Also become a person who values breaks and time and space away from work. If you do these things, you will see busyness turn to productivity.


Ask yourself this question:


What important work am I avoiding by choosing busy work instead?



Find the work that matters the most. Find the work that is critical to your success and put your focus there.



Move from busy to productive.