Tag Archives: busy

Defining Busy: One Year Later

6th February 2013

If you haven’t been able to tell through my past posts, I’m a big fan of nostalgia. Stories, cards, photos, I keep them all. When I stumbled across Timehop a little over a year ago, I was instantly obsessed.

If you aren’t familiar with Timehop, this brillant little app takes your data from across your social networks and delivers it to you in a nice, neat little daily email sharing exactly what you were doing one year ago on that day. You can also download their app for extra love and see back as far as you have been active on a particular social network…posts from freshman year of college are AWESOME in case you weren’t aware.

As much as I LOVE Timehop, it’s not exactly the primary purpose of this post. So back to our regularly schedule programming we go.

A year ago, I posted this to Twitter: Definition of Busy

Working in a client-facing business means I’m constantly pulled in a billion different directions. It’s easy to get wrapped up in the hoopla of it all and share with everyone just how busy you are as if there were some award for having the most miserable schedule. Believe me, I’m guilty too.

A year ago, I challenged myself to remove those words from my vocabulary, I even blogged about the ordeal and how it made a difference in my day.

There will always be a deadline, another project, or something else to check off of the list. It’s only going to get crazier from here – heck, I’m a single girl and I don’t have the responsibility of a cat in my apartment, let alone a husband and children. If I’m completely honest with myself, that future juggling scares me to death.


At the end of the day, you are busy doing the things YOU want to. Only you can make the decisions for how you fill your days – that’s one of those great perks of being a grown-up. I’m fortunate enough to be surrounded by some awesome people who are constantly trying to remind me of that, as difficult as that can be somedays.

One year later, I’m still guilty of letting the b-word slip, but it’s a work in progress. Taking time to do things like sit, set goals and blog more are now also on my to-do list. I love this quote from Jessica Lawlor in a recent interview post for Rachel Esterline’s 13 in 2013 series:

The truth is, there is no such thing as work-life balance; there’s just balance.

I couldn’t have even thought to sum it better myself. How do you keep balance between the crazy?

The definition of busy

13th February 2012

Life in the agency world moves a million miles an hour. OK make that a bazillion. There are few days I spend more than a few hours at my desk and without my two monitors and mobile phone, I don’t know how I could juggle all of my open projects. You could say things around here keep you a bit busy.

Last week, I challenged myself to rid the word busy from my vocabulary.

Over the past few weeks, I’ve found myself stressing more about what I have to get done than actually tackling the projects in front of me with a smile on my face. The negativity leaves me dreading tasks rather than excited at the challenge. The truth is we are all busy, but what I’ve come to realize is we all have a different definition of the word busy.

A coworker and I had a discussion about this topic a few weeks ago while out for an afternoon run and came to the conclusion that you are really only as busy as you want to be. You can always make time for the projects you want to work on, the afternoon runs and the quick conversations that mean the most.

“If you are distressed by anything external, the pain is not due to the thing itself, but to your estimate of it; and this you have the power to revoke at any moment.”  – Marcus Aurelius

After cutting the word (and a few others) from my vocabulary and focusing on what I could accomplish and how to get there, I found myself not only a lot more productive, but also more positive and less exhausted at the end of each day.

Clearly just cutting a word from my vocabulary isn’t going to force action, but luckily, there are quite a few tools out there to help you along the way.

  • Wunderlist – I keep note of all of my ongoing projects and tasks with this desktop app
  • Evernote – How did anyone keep track of multiple notebooks before this one? My favorite extension – seamless sync across devices. This means even my grocery list ends up here as I think of things throughout the week
  • A good old fashioned technology break – I know, crazy. Sometimes I am the most productive when taking a break from work. Trying eating lunch outside for 15 minutes this week, it will change your outlook, promise

There are some days that can’t be helped. Sometimes you just need to vent and sometimes there really are not enough hours in the day, but what I’ve realized is talking, thinking or stressing will not to accomplish any of it. Guess what? Next week I’m going to learn a whole new definition of busy, so what better way to prepare than to avoid the thought of it all together.