There is nothing more frustrating than someone constantly reminding you how busy they are, as if to say, “I’m twice as busy as you therefore I am twice as important.”
Congratulations, we’re all busy. That’s life.
I’ve been making a conscious effort to identify the characteristics I see in the people that I respect the most. These are the people that I look up to and aspire to be like–the people who are always upbeat, rarely complain, infect you with their positivity and genuinely make you want to be a better person when you’re around them. And these people, often the busiest people of all, almost never spend time whining about how they don’t have time for you. In fact, more often than not, these are the people who will make the time when you need it.
The workplace is probably where I see the “always busy” mentality the most. I don’t know if it’s people trying to get out of additional work or if they genuinely feel overwhelmed, but the fact of the matter is, you don’t need to tell me what you’re busy doing in every email you send. I don’t want to hear that you have no time for my questions because of this or that. Take a step back and get some perspective. You’re only hurting yourself.
Of course, as with all things, there is a spectrum. Some people are legitimately busy and can’t tear themselves away. But these are rarely the ones who have time to respond to an email to tell you they’re busy (because honestly, they are too busy working to do so).
In addition to being annoying, constantly telling people how busy you are is just bad for you and the people around you. It raises everyone’s stress levels and can cause some serious resentment, especially if you make those around you feel less important than this mysterious work that is always keeping you so busy.
If you are truly busy, people can see it, they don’ t need to hear it too.
My favorite person in my office is one of the absolutely busiest people I know, but anytime someone needs to chat, he makes time. Sure, every now and then he has a gripe of his own, but busy as he may be, he never makes anyone feel bad for being more or less busy than him. And that’s infectious. People like that are what make an office or a group of friends a pleasure to be around. And that’s exactly the kind of person I want to be.
How do you keep your stress in check when you’re feeling busy and overwhelmed?