You’re Not Too Busy

by Samantha on March 19, 2010


No matter how busy you are, make time for the people who matter. I tweeted this phrase yesterday afternoon, and it got me thinking. So many of us are living non-stop lives, working hard to reach our goals and be successful. Often, it’s our relationships that suffer most in this type of lifestyle. But, let this post serve as a friendly reminder. You are NOT too busy for the ones who mean the most to you.

Trips home for holidays or special occasions can be crazy. Everyone wants to see you, and your Blackberry/iPhone is blinking nonstop with tweets and e-mails. A bunch of kids from high school are going out drinking, but you haven’t seen your best friend in months. Have dinner just the two of you before going out, or skip the drinking altogether and stay in for a quiet night of catching up.  Here’s another idea, actually using your lunch hour to meet a friend who works in the same area you do. It’ll be good for your sanity, and your friendship.

I’m really close with my parents, and fortunate to only live a little more than an hour away from them. I know that either or both of these might not be the case for everyone. But, no matter how much your mother nags, or your father shakes his head, never forget that they brought you into this world and they love you. Send them an e-mail every couple of weeks and give them an update on your life. You know they’re wondering. And, when you’re home, don’t plan to spend every minute with friends and just use your parents’ place as somewhere to crash. At least give them a meal’s worth of your time.

For social media geeks like us, we have a whole other world of people who matter on different levels (which could be its own blog post). Our readers matter to us, at least they should, so show them you appreciate them by responding to comments and thanking people for RTs. If one of your Gchat buddies IMs you and you’re too busy to chat, just let them know. For those precious few who cross the line from online connections to true friends, the ones who you share your life with, and talk heart to heart, make sure they know that they’re important to you. The online world is different in so many ways. We’re connected with so many people, that it’s difficult to know where you stand. You could easily admire someone who doesn’t know  you exist, or be putting a ton of effort into what you consider a friendship, and just end up being another one of that person’s many connections.

You are NOT too busy. Yes, you have a lot going on. I know you’re on a deadline, and your significant other thinks you spend too much time online, and you have to close a certain number of deals this month to be able to pay your bills…but you can still find the time for the people who matter. Even a few minutes can make a big difference in the long run of life.

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  • Adam

    I believe this is how I keep my sanity with a crazy life. Meeting someone you've know for years or getting re-acquainted with a friend can be a great re-energizer for your day or even the week. Meeting up IRL counts, not anything online. This way the 'buffer' is the flow of the conversation, not the e-devices. Small actions like this add up to a giant picture, and the best you can do is paint your own picture.

  • emilyjasper

    I went out to a networking event last night, not just for networking, but for seeing the “regulars.” It's almost easier to plan on going to those events because most of us are there. Now I'm good for the week. Not that I won't see other people, but by booking these events, I know I'm getting my social time in. Connecting is so important, and it is good to make sure we keep that as something to keep us energized.

  • sameve

    Spending time with old friends is definitely a great way to re-energize. Although, I would say (and I did) that online counts too. There are some people I “met” online who I chat with on a daily basis. Some of them I've met in person before, but even though I don't see them on a regular basis, I still greatly appreciate their friendship. Thanks for commenting, Adam!

  • sameve

    That's so interesting, Emily, but it makes total sense. A bunch of busy people continue going to a networking event, not necessarily to network with new people, but to see their old friends. Hey, whatever works! Thanks for sharing :)

  • Elisa Doucette

    I spent last night at the visiting hours for a colleague. He retired December 31st and passed away about a week ago. Less than 3 months retired. There are far too many variables we don't know. Always thinking there'll be more time. That isn't always the case.

    I've also discovered that sometimes “I'm too busy” becomes “It needs to be convenient for me.” As if the world is supposed to revolve around one person's life. (I've been guilty of this myself) :(

  • sameve

    Elisa: I'm so sorry to hear about your colleague. It's unfortunate that things like that have to happen before we truly realize how precious life actually is. That's why I started the Appreciation Revolution. It took my friend passing away at 21 for me, and I didn't want that to have to happen to anyone else. We're all guilty of thinking we're too busy and forgetting to make time for the people who matter, but that doesn't make it okay. So, we just need to remember that we're not too busy and try to make the most of every day. Thanks for your comments!

  • isaokato

    Whenever I use/hear the phrase “I'm busy” what I really mean/hear is “You're not that important to me.” Am I the only one? Well I guess not. Haven't used the bxxx word for over three months (intentionally, of course) is what I am secretly proud of. Thanks, I like your insight.

  • Grace Boyle

    My girlfriend and I were talking about this in terms of a guy she is casually dating. She isn't really into him, so it's quickly fading and she's busy finishing her degree HOWEVER she told me, “If I am really into someone and care about them, there's nothing I wouldn't drop for them.”

    The same goes with friends, family, etc. There are certain people where the hard work, isn't hard, it's just part of it because you want to. I think it's funny how this works and I also, greatly appreciate it. It really shows who is true..and who isn't. Because really, we are ALL busy, so that's just not an excuse.

  • sameve

    I think that's how it translates to a lot of people, and that's why I wanted to write this post. Even if it's unintentional, not making time for people can easily make them feel like you don't care about them. Kudos to you for not using “the b word” for over three months! Very impressive!

  • sameve

    Great points, Grace. It shouldn't be hard work for us to make time for those who truly matter. We should WANT to do it. Any relationship requires time, effort and energy from both sides. And, you're right, we're all busy. If the President can make time to go on dates with his wife and read stories to his daughters, can't we make time for the important people in our lives? Thanks for sharing your insight!

  • Jonha Revesencio

    I like how you put it, MAKE time and not just find time because if you strive to work on the latter, you'd most likely fail. Sometimes we may fail to let these loved ones feel that they're loved by not communicating with them but the worse thing that could ever happen is that when you don't think of them at all! No matter what we're doing, we should make it a habit to make our loved ones feel that they are indeed being loved.

  • Ty Unglebower

    I wish more of my “friends” felt this way. Less then 10% of overtures or messages I extend to them ever get returned or even acknowledged, and the refrains is always, “I'm busy,”. When people matter, they should be worth the 5 seconds to shoot an e-mail response.

  • sameve

    Jonha: Yes, making time implies an active effort on your part, while finding time is more tenuous. I agree that we should make a habit of letting our loved ones know that they are loved. Thanks for the comment!

  • sameve

    Hi Ty. I know what you mean. It's hard to put in the effort and not have it reciprocated. That's why I wanted to remind people that they're never too busy for the people who matter. No matter how much you have going on, there is no way that taking 5 minutes to send out a few texts or e-mails will ruin everything. Plus, having strong, loving relationships will have a positive impact on your life overall. Thanks for sharing your perspective!

  • Beth Oppenheim

    This is a wonderful post, Sam. I think it is very easy for us to get caught up in the drama, and the craziness – and it's important to make time. I struggle with the balance sometimes, but it's a work in progress.

  • sameve

    Thanks Beth! It's so important to make time for the special people in our lives, not just for them, but for us too.

  • Rachel

    Thanks for this! Its so easy to get caught up in your own busy agendas to forget the people whom we love, and that we should n`t take our friendships, close relationships for granted, even when we are busy ,we should still show the love!

  • Latishia

    I hear the b word a lot too, especially from certain friends. to be honest, it does feel more like -”Your after these things in my life: Studies, classes, work, homework, and then, oh you fit in” She`s even told me that that school work is more important then spending quality time with me (her best bud) when I have called to ask if she wants to grab a cup of coffee or whatever.

  • sameve

    Exactly! People can’t read our minds, and even if they know how much they mean to us, that doesn’t mean we never have to show them or tell them. I’m glad you liked the post! Thanks for the comment!

  • sameve

    I’ve heard this a lot from certain friends too, and that’s what inspired me to write this post. The thing is, everyone is busy, but no one is too busy to make a little time and effort to maintain the important relationships in their lives. If they think they are, it’s just an excuse. I hope your friend realizes that she can and should make time for you! Thanks for the comment!

  • Katie

    We live in a world where so many people, especially young people like myself, use technology to contact friends via text, email, im etc.  that we have lost the meaning of personal contact. It’s just a text or email so I cant see the person, why does it matter if i get back to them.  My mom drove this into me when I was younger “actions speaks louder then words”. Actually call your friends, email, text, etc and tell them they are awesome and you love them.  It makes a big difference in their lives and yours .

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