Busy Is The New Fine

So, how are things going? Busy. This is the new common question and answer from me, from friends, from colleagues, from everyone. The common response in the past is to be fine, but now everything is busy. At some point, there was a transitional response that happened from fine to busy. There has been a cultural shift that defined busy was a better term than fine. I think it is a shift in translation that happened in the last three years, since the economy has been hindered. Busy showed that we had work, which too often was a positive answer. But, it needs to end at some point in dialogue with trusted individuals. I say it too much. The truth is that I really am busy most of the time.  It can be good, but in many ways I am realizing it also is not.

I am learning that Busy-ness may be my great deterrent to true community. I am busy and many of my friends know that I am busy. What this communicates to my friends is that I don’t have time for them. Friends begin to think that if I am busy, I don’t need them. When you are busy or fine, it is a common answer that says I don’t need you right now. Being busy is a common answer for stay out of my life, I don’t have time for you.

When I am busy, I choose to not engage in community. It is a verbal and chosen time response to friendship. When I am busy, I am actively not inviting others into my life. But, in my head I think that busy is good. In all reality, being busy is selfish.

I know there are times that people really are busy and need to focus on the task at hand to address a given problem. But if we are too busy to engage in relationships, we have a problem. When we respond and tell you we are too busy, too often, we need help. We really need deep relationship, comforting and concern. The result of being extra busy is loneliness and depression. You may not relate with this, but I truly need freedom from being busy. Time is of the essence. If you are not busy, you are setting an example for the rest of us. Please take time to engage people that are too busy. We need you.

Read more on busyness:

Join the conversation! 37 Comments

  1. Thankfully I wasn’t too busy to read this blog post! Great insights and I find myself doing the exact same thing. Even when I’m not that busy, I tend to answer the how are you doing questions with busy. I think at the end of the day for me, it makes me feel important because in my mind important people are busy.

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  2. I can totally relate to this. I used to work for a big non-profit and it seemed like we always wanted to busy but the whole focus of everything we did was suppose to be relationships. Busy work often feels better or more productive than community – relationships take a long time to grow and when you are working with people – it often takes a long time to see the impact of that. It’s easier to fill your days with projects rather than people.

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  3. really good thoughts, Jeff. thanks for sharing!

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  4. Great thoughts Jeff. If by real community you mean intimate/transparent relationships, then being busy might be a way of covering up or avoiding. The last time I looked I had control of my schedule, and only I can say yes or no for myself. Am I avoiding asking tough questions about myself by being busy? Got to go have some important things I need to do… .

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  5. You hit the nail on the head with this one. Busy = important but also means “I don’t have time for you.” Time for me to be less busy.

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  6. [...] just read this post yesterday on Plywood People and was SUPER convicted by it! He talks about how in our culture lately [...]

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  7. Thanks for all the additional comments…since we posted this a couple days ago, I have noticed that now I can’t say busy to my friends. Many of them read this post and it is like an instant accountability to relationship. I think the more people that agree with this the more careful we will have to be in relationships.

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  8. This really challenged me too. It put to words an internal struggle I’ve been having. I keep saying “Busy is my dirtiest 4 letter word” and you expressed every reason why that’s true. I’m catching myself now before I say it. I’m hoping it will force me into deeper honesty when I’m asked how I am and not into some other canned answer that gets me off the hook.

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  9. sad but true. i’m busy…

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  10. [...] Read more on busyness. Share blog comments powered by Disqus /* [...]

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  11. Great thought .Thanks for shearing .Joanna you are the one who used to shear wonderful and great thought so if you keep on going we will learn more n more ……….keep it up .

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  12. Perfect sense hear this bs all th time, my girlfriend now says…..ect no busy than I , I work a lot hours but can still find time to give someone myself ….ect….
    Tell me someone can’t spare even cple hours week is bs, than they haved poor time mgmt skills

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  13. [...] Reading: Busy Is The New Fine Don’t Chase The Train Share blog comments powered by Disqus [...]

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  14. Wow this is really good.  I also find that busy people project on me that I’m too busy to be bothered, when in reality, that is not the case.

    John Eldredge has an incredible audio message called “The Spirit of the Age”. It’s about busy-ness being a spiritual force to pull us away from deeper and more meaningful relationships and work.

    here is the link if you are interested.

    http://www.ransomedheart.com/p-102-spirit-of-the-age-the-cd.aspx

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  15. [...] vision and fervor.  Quitting (for a little while) makes my work better. Read more about busyness: Busy is the New Fine Signals and Noise I’m Grounded Stop Everything Friday Five // tweetmeme_url = [...]

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  16. [...] more about busyness: Busy is the New Fine I’m [...]

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  17. [...] only one thing to do….act.  How can you begin to do this now? Read more about busyness: Busy is the New Fine Signals and Noise I’m Grounded Stop Everything Friday Five // tweetmeme_url = [...]

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  18. [...] has overtaken presence in communication and friendship. Read more about busyness: Busy is the New Fine Signals and Noise I’m Grounded Friday Five // Phileena Heuertz tweetmeme_url = [...]

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  19. Really enjoyed looking at this post on this fantastic website many thanks for the ideas

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  20. [...] long for you to see the healthy benefits of creating margin in your days. Read more about busyness: Busy is the New Fine Signals and Noise I’m Grounded Stop Everything Friday Five // Phileena Heuertz [...]

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  21. What a pleasant scene, and this reality, we all of us are so much busy in our lives.

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  22. yeah, if you don’t want to REALLY talk to someone you say one word answers like that.

    best,
    joseph
    Metairie looking home for a to buy

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  23. [...] life (busy) or finding ways to contain memories and experiences (full)? Read more about busyness: Busy is the New Fine Signals and Noise I’m Grounded Stop Everything Friday Five // Phileena Heuertz tweetmeme_url [...]

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  24. [...] are you going to do about being busy? Read more about busyness: Busy is the New Fine Signals and Noise I’m Grounded Stop Everything Friday Five // Phileena Heuertz Drive Thru [...]

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  25. I am extreemely amazed i have checked out this website.

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  26. thanks for providing us that type of knowledge,I will visit again.. 

    Reply
  27. [...] 4.  Earmark your time to show some love when it comes to your relationships. Now that you’re all grown up, this is one commitment you don’t need to fear! We were made to live in community with other human beings because we desperately need each other. I read a blog post the other day that talked about how nowadays, when someone asks, “How are you?” instead of answering “Fine,” a lot of us have gotten into the habit of saying, “Busy.” Do this a few times, and watch your friendships fall by the wayside. I don’t want to feel guilty about calling someone I love simply because I think she doesn’t have time for me. Busy is the New Fine [...]

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  28. [...] 6.  We are going to debut our first short film created for the book launch of “More or Less,” based on one of our most popular blog posts: Busy is the New Fine. [...]

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  29. [...] what Jeff’s written: Busy Is The New Fine Skin in the Game The No Work Meal Problem Solving People Love Where You Are I have a vision to make [...]

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  30. [...] The concept of the video came out of a blog post Jeff wrote called Busy is the New Fine. [...]

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  31. This popped up as a post to read today, even though I notice it was written a few years ago. And yet, still completely honest and true in my life. Busy can feel so good particularly when I use it to avoid my own pain, frustration, and fear of vulnerability.

    Thanks for sharing, Jeff. Looking forward to Plywood Presents!

    Reply
  32. Thanks for writing Busy Is The New Fine | Plywood People,
    actually like it.

    Reply
  33. This is really awesome and very helpful.Thank you so much for sharing such a great blog.

    Reply

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