This is a guest post by Chris Glubish – Principal of Somnia Inc. – a Web Design, Development & Social Media Consulting firm. Chris is dad to two little boys and husband to ME! With his business perspective, analytical mind, and the multiple in-depth conversations we’ve been having, I asked him if he would consider writing a guest post regarding a pledge he is making for 2014. Website: www.somnia.ca

My Best Friend “Busy” is no Friend of Mine

The last year has been a blur. Living through sickness and death in some close friends, an evolving business, an active 2-year-old who doesn’t talk but rather screams, a 4-year-old who dreams up crazy ideas and talks non-stop, and a wife who also dreams up crazy ideas and talks non-stop has been purposeful in reshaping her career after taking time off to be a mom has taken a toll.

The result is that those around me have heard a lot about a good friend of mine.  Like my 4 year old blaming his imaginary friend for his actions, I too have have my own handy-to-blame imaginary friend. His name is “Busy”.

“Busy made me do it.”
“Sorry… I was with Busy.”
“It wasn’t my fault, Busy did it”.
“I would have… but Busy wouldn’t let me”.

“Busy” is a completely vague, yet easy to understand, and socially acceptable way to basically get out of any situation while exuding a sense of accomplishment. People easily accept and often respect busy.   It’s like it’s OK to be busy because we have this sense that busy equates to success.

So almost daily I use my good friend “Busy” as a crutch.   I know in part it’s because this season of life is a tad overwhelming, but sadly, it has also become a poor excuse to not be authentic, or deflect blame for my own inability to manage life.  With very few exceptions (moms of multiple toddlers come to mind), nobody is “too busy” as much as the word is used.

I’m learning that my friend “Busy” is really just a self serving, dishonest enabler who covers over the real issues and fuels even more busyness. Busy isn’t a virtue, nor is it something to respect. I’m realizing “Busy” is no friend of mine.

It got me thinking about what I could do to handle busy better.

5 Things I Have Learned From The Busy People I Respect Most

Some of the busiest people I know always have time for me. They turn off their phones before we sit down for lunch. They are honest if I ask something of them but they need time to respond. If they decline, they never make me feel slighted, and if I decline, they never make me feel guilty. These people are also actually some of the busiest people I know. How do they do it?

I’ve determined 5 consistent traits ALL of these people have.

  1. They are structured, organized, steadfast and goal-oriented – they do not chase the latest opportunity or wander through life hoping to eventually hit a home run. They have a plan and stick to it.
  2. Their families are #1. Without fail. Their careers never overshadow their family life.
  3. They are respectful of others AND themselves – they value your time because they value their own.
  4. They live balanced lives and take care of their physical health and fitness.
  5. They are honest, often brutally honest.

These people have mastered the art of living purposefully and balanced while respecting others.
I want to be like this.

One Year Of Never Using “Busy” as an Excuse

I can’t take credit for this concept. I first read it here, but I’m putting my own twist on it. The idea is that no matter how busy you get, you never use it as an excuse. Without my good friend ‘Busy’ to blame, I will be forced to be completely authentic with my tasks, priorities and aspirations.   I will be forced to stop justifying poor decisions, spreading blame or manipulating others with the easy way out.  The hope is that it will force me to become a better life manager and actually BE less busy.  But it starts with saying it – or actually, NOT saying it.  I expect it to be very difficult.

I also suspect some people may be offended. We all understand someone being busy, but typically don’t want to hear that people are choosing not to make time. But I also know people crave authenticity, and believe the people who truly respect you will understand IF always honest.

Here is my pledge, and I challenge you to join me:

  1. I will make S.M.A.R.T goals (Specific, Measurable, Actionable, Realistic, Time-bound) for all areas of my life in 2014:  my faith, marriage, kids, fitness, business and volunteering.
  2. I will filter every daily opportunity through #1 and take back my time. This is tricky because I’ve conditioned people to expect certain things from me.  I need to gently reset the bar and I need to do this through honesty, not excuses.
  3. As my act of honesty, I pledge to stop using “busy” as an excuse for the entirety of 2014. No matter how busy I actually get.  It will be tough, but Cindy and I have made this pledge together.

I realize it’s cliche to make plans for change at New Years. But being deliberate about goals will force you to think about what is most important in life. Whatever your season of life is, if you set goals, stick to them, and are honest with those around you, it can be your best year ever in 2014.

Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, making the best use of the time…

~Ephesians 5:15-16

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Making Space

Carving Out Time For God In The Midst Of Your Busy Life

With a million things to do and not enough hours in the day to get it done, it's easy to zone out and slip into autopilot in order to survive. But perhaps life is not about adding more things to your already lengthy list, but rather, about pausing in the midst of it all to consider if what you're doing is really important.