Rant! Busy is BULL(SHIT)

By Edward Plant

Have you heard this conversation?

“How are you?”



It has become today’s acceptable standard. How have we turned being busy into the norm? How have we made it acceptable?

It’s a cop out, not a badge of honour.

You shouldn’t be proud that you are busy.  You shouldn’t be telling everyone who asks how you are that you are ‘busy’.


Because if I ask you how you are, busy doesn’t tell me anything.  Are you exhausted? Struggling? Thriving? Enjoying the challenge? Tell me about you. Not this mode you have created for yourself.

Secondly, I don’t think you should be proud of being busy.  It’s not an accolade that you should strive for. What does busy get you?

It gets you no time with your partner.  It gets you no time with the kids.  It keeps you working longer and harder.  It raises the expectations on what you should be doing.  It raises the bar on the results you are driving to.  It keeps things hard.  And most importantly, it keeps you critical in everything.


So I say STOP perpetuating the ‘busy badge’ and START creating a world were you are not busy.

A world in which it’s encouraged to finish things early.  Where it’s OK to say NO.  Where it’s OK to focus on three things and do them to a high standard.  Where it’s OK to be on the golf course, and it’s OK to collect the kids from school.

The reality is you may have convinced yourself that busy is a good place to be.

I call BULLSHIT on this.

Stop encouraging yourself by saying it’s OK to be busy and change it. Work out how to not be busy.

Work out what you need to stop doing. Work out who can do more for you. Work out a new way of doing things that doesn’t keep you BUSY.

Let’s promote a society in which busy is discouraged.

So next time I ask how you are, please DON’T tell me you’re busy!


About the Author

Edward is the Co-Founder and Lead Strategist at the Institute for Couples in Business. When he’s not nutting out smart strategies you’ll find him hanging out with wife and business partner Rebecca and his sons Samuel, 4, and Charles, 2. For the past seven years Ed has been working with business owners to double profits, halve hours and build self-sustaining business that thrives with or without you. Ed is also author of #1 best-seller Lead-The-Ship and a sought-after guest speaker who often gets mistaken for Prince Harry.