Posted by: Mad Lamb | 25/01/2015

Too busy?

Are you finding hard to fit in the changes you need to make to keep up your New Year’s resolutions?

I started going to the gym in January, along with many others. I want to strengthen my muscles, after being inactive while I slowed down to cope with my arthritis, so I can become fitter and a bit less rotund. I’ve paid for the privilege so, as we’re on a tight budget, I have to make this count, I have to make the effort or stop the subscription. This means getting up earlier or leaving work on time, so I don’t eat into my evenings too much and lapse on all the other good intentions I subconsciously signed myself up to.

While it seems a struggle, even at this early stage. However, once I’m there, it feels worth it. Even when the aches come later in the day, it reminds me that some muscles have been dormant for a but too long.

There are other resolutions I made, such as to read more, to write creatively again, to spend time in my music corner, to spend 10 mins each morning praying over the day ahead, to pray more often during the day and do more for others. However, this seems harder, I convince myself I’m too busy, the bus was late, I was so tired that I overslept or that I just had so much of my own chores to do I couldn’t fit in anyone else’s.

A couple of weeks ago, I attended a course on what to consider when applying for internal jobs. One exercise was to review comments on fictitious applications to assess how suitable they were for a given role. The job description asked for experience in a busy office. Each applicant gave background to their current job and said they were busy, but not always giving direct examples of what caused their busyness. We discussed this as a group and questioned, are they busy because there was a lot to do or was it due to them not being organised or skilled enough to do the job more efficiently?

We all say we’re too busy, and there are many who are busier than us that seem to achieve so much in the same time. I know we are all different and have different levels or organisational skills but is that the only mitigating factor?

Last year I was in a team review meeting at work, where a colleague reported another department couldn’t resolve one of our issues because they were ‘too busy’. My manager retorted, ‘they’re not too busy but have just chosen to prioritise something else’. Since then, every time I hear the words ‘too busy’ in my mind, often as I tried to fit in an unplanned activity, I remind myself I’m just choosing my priorities. If a family member was ill, or a friend in urgent need, would I not change my routines to fit in a visit to go out of my way to help them?

As the end of January creeps in and we reflect on what resolutions have lost their appeal, how could we reassess our priorities so we can give them more space in February? Perhaps we need to also look as what keeps us ‘busy’, to see if we could approach that differently, or even accept that someone else would be better skilled to do it more efficiently and, thus, free us to do something that would help someone else be less busy or just help us enjoy life more.

It might be a struggle, but hopefully it will be worth it.



  1. I love this excellent perspective. Meeting your goals is all about making the choices to do so and using your time wisely. I too have started this year with a “no matter what” philosophy and it has paid off. I work myself into the ground with two stressful jobs over 55 hours a week. I still find that once I put my mind to what I really what to accomplish and take what little time I have to accomplish it (part of which involves getting away from these negative jobs), the results seem to snowball and I still get more done that if I simply complain I don’t have the time to do what I want.

  2. Thanks for passing by and commenting, Joe. Work-wise, I find it quite easy to be organised and fit loads in but my personal stuff seems to be too easily deferred. My health issues can make me tired without doing very much, so often, when I say I’m too busy, I’m really saying I’m scared of making myself tired. Therefore, I have to counter-check that internal voice to balance rest with motivation to achieve. Great to hear you are aiming for some positive goals.

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