“Busy is a Decision”

“Busy is a decision.”

So says the amazingly talented Debbie Millman, and I’ve been sitting with that idea ever since I heard it.

Of course busy isn’t a decision all the time, for every person. Probably not for the single parent working two jobs, desperate to make ends meet. And maybe not when your boss dumps something absolutely howlingly urgent on your desk.

But it’s worth investigating where and when busy is more of a decision than you think. Are you consistently able to show up on time and with enough energy to meet your commitments? Are you able to focus on a person or task long enough to respond generously and effectively? Do you start climbing the walls if you haven’t checked your email, calendar, or social networks in five minutes — or maybe just two?

All of these are symptomatic of something: lack of control, lack of responsibility, eagerness to please (regardless of efficacy).

If you’re reading this, you have some control over how you spend your time and attention. Spending them better on fewer tasks — mindfully rather than busily — is often the more generous option, both for you and for those you seek to serve.