The narrative killer

A good way to stop being busy is to avoid saying that you are.

“How are you?”
“Busy.”

I did this many times myself, and it’s not really a nice way to move the conversation forward. Even more, busy is the narrative killer: if you repeat it long enough, that’s the the only story you and others will hear about yourself. It is a sticky one, very difficult to get rid of, even after some time has passed and, to be honest, you are no longer as busy as you were the first time you said it.

“How are you?”
“I am excited as I have just received confirmation that we will go ahead with the project.”
“I am disappointed as I have been told we are not moving forward with the hiring process.”
“I am exhausted as yesterday had to work all evening on the presentation for next week.”
“I am really looking forward to join your team meeting next month and present what we are working on.”

Busy is a common safeplace, and it shades us for taking responsibility for how we actually feel and what we are actually doing that is important. Stop saying you are busy and you will find yourself taking some time to discover how you actually are.

“How are you?”
“I am a little overworked at the moment, but it is fine, as I am working on things I love. What about you?”

 

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