How many times have you greeted a friend or colleague with ‘How are you?’ or ‘How have you been?’ to only to be responded to with one word – ‘Busy.’
Man, I’ve just been busy… Busy, busy, busy.
Assuming the initial question was genuine, a question asked wanting to know someone’s well-being or what someone has been up, does it not deserve a whole hearted response? This word ‘busy’ has become such a crutch it almost provides people with an out, avoiding having to put any actual thought when speaking to another person.
After all, who in today’s world isn’t busy? Who in this modern world shouldn’t be busy? Is this term not a given or an assumed level of activity for most people?
Worse even, is it a ruse? Has busy become a term to mask someone’s lack of initiative or their ability to waste away half a workday perusing Facebook?
Managers in the work place don’t want to hear that you’ve been busy; that’s the baseline, the expectation, the bare minimum. For someone to reply with busy to a superior would almost bear the question – ‘are they really?’
At best it’s cognitive laziness, at worst it’s a lie.
We spend a lot of time talking about and exploring the variety of ways that people can engage with each other. Social media and current technology allow us to be in contact with someone at almost any time, maybe the ease of communication has caused us to forget how to really communicate and share with each other.
I encourage you to throw away the busy crutch, take a moment to thoughtfully respond to daily questions. Don’t allow a conversation to be mundane. Take the word out of your vocabulary and take the time to do the things the busy excuse excused you from previously.
You’ll learn. You’ll experience. And you’ll probably realize you weren’t that busy after all.