I have recently placed a self-imposed ban on using the word ‘busy’. I found myself getting into the habit of when people asked how are you? I would automatically say ‘busy’. I had glorified the word busy and used it as an excuse for something I didn’t really want to do or didn’t value. 

Tim Ferris author of The 4 Hour Work Week believes that ‘Being busy is not the same as being productive. In fact, being busy is a form of laziness – lazy thinking and indiscriminate action’. 

Barack Obama exercises every day. If the president of the United States of America can find the time to exercise, what’s stopping you? 

One of the most common excuses I hear from people for not having a healthy lifestyle is I’m too busy. I don’t have time to exercise, I don’t have time to eat well, I don’t have time to sleep. Whenever I hear this excuse all I hear is ‘I don’t value my health’. Busy isn’t a good thing. But as a society, we have glorified this word. That if we’re not busy then we must be lazy or bored. 

One client of mine who is always busy joined me on this ban. When I asked her how her week had been and she replied ‘quiet’, to which I replied ‘That’s great! So what have you done instead?’ 

‘I went home early and picked the kids up from school, went for a walk in the park, and cooked dinner for them.’ 

‘How amazing did that feel? How excited were the kids to see you?’ 

Even though she agreed, you could tell she still harboured some guilt. Now it’s not good for us to be quiet all the time either. But we need to embrace quiet, enjoy quiet, do things we wouldn’t usually do when we are busy and not worry ourselves about not being busy. 

Many workplaces we meet with often talk of a culture where people must be seen as the first to arrive and the last to leave and if you are seen exercising at lunchtime you simply don’t work hard enough. However, a recent study showed that it’s smart business to let employees work out on company time. They showed no loss in productivity compared to employees who weren’t exercising, but working more hours! This flies directly in the face of our tendency to believe that more hours equals more productivity.  

To avoid the busy dis-ease our team of personal trainers ask our clients not ‘how are you today?’ Instead, they ask ‘how is your energy today?’ 

This removes the possibility of saying busy and returns focus to their state of being. How well are they managing their wellbeing and energy so that we are thriving not just surviving? 

“Those who think they have no time for bodily exercise will sooner or later have to find time for illness”