Teaching ballroom dance is some of the best psychological training on the planet. You wouldn’t think it, but working with people in such a physical and personal way leads to very personal conversations, much like my current work. One of the most important things I learned during my time as a dance teacher is that if someone wants something bad enough, they will do whatever it takes to make it happen. If not, excuses will fly out of their mouths like a hummingbird on crack.
Excuses are about as useful as a drunk ostrich and are just as ridiculous. They hold us back. They keep us from living up to our full potential. They prevent us from soaring.
Today I will address what is easily the most popular and the worst offender of the bunch:
In modern society, we wear “busy” like a badge of honor. It makes us feel important. Others may even think it makes us more important. It certainly can help in business. Many people think more highly of the business that’s tougher to get into: the hot restaurant, swank hairdresser, top doctor. However, what can add a certain cache in business actually does the opposite in our personal lives. In our personal lives, saying we’re “busy” robs us of time and energy because it’s really a lie.
We all get the exact same 24 hours in a day. From slacker to successful, there is one solid truth – you get 24 hours and what you do with it is up to you. Every time you say “I don’t have the time,” you’re lying to yourself. The truthful statement is, “I do not choose to do that with my time.”
Before you get defensive, Sunshine, I’m calling myself out on this, too. We’re all in this boat together.
“I’m too busy” and/or “I don’t have the time” is one of the most common excuses I hear for people to not address their clutter, get organized, and create the home that they want. However, the truth is that it’s not been made a priority. If it were a priority, it would be done or at least be in process of being done.
I assure you that you do actually have the time because the simple truth is that time “saved” by not doing something because you’re “too busy” actually compounds into much more time wasted later on. An excellent example is laundry: I’m “too busy” to put things away neatly, so my clean clothes are left in a rumpled pile somewhere. When I need to get dressed, I have to take the time to dig through said pile to find what I need—if I can even remember whether the clothes are clean. Either way, they’re wrinkled, and now I need to take time to un-wrinkle them. Once we look at things this way, let’s be honest: which really took more time? Hanging our clothes properly, or digging/sniffing/un-wrinkling your morning outfit?
Maybe we’re not “too busy” to hang the clothes after all.
If you want to make an uncluttered home a priority, make it a priority. Choose to use a little of your 24 hours to work towards that goal. Every time you start to complain about the state of home, take action instead. Find 3 items you can let go of and put them in the trash, recycling bin, or a donation box. Every time you feel guilty for not cleaning your house, pick an area and clean it. Every time you wish you had less, get up and get rid of something.
By transferring our energy from the excuse of “busy” to actively doing something in line with our priorities, we see progress to our goals and over time will end up with a home that we love.
It’s got more win than free champagne.
Plus, you can pop some champagne when it’s done!
So let’s stop saying we’re “busy.” Let’s own our choices and let our words properly reflect it. Imagine how liberating it is to be completely honest with yourself and others. Remember this is NOT a license to act like a jackhole. It’s permission to simply say “no” to time-consuming things that aren’t your priority instead of the lame, blanket excuse of “busy.” After all, “busy” is NOT a badge of honor. Busy is bullsh—er, for the birds.
We’re not busy. We give our time to our priorities.
Will you join me?
Melinda is the sassy, redheaded best friend you always wanted. Called everything from slave-driver to life-saver to organizing ninja, her natural organizing skills and vivacious attitude will make getting organized suck less.
Melinda works with mildly cluttered to mildly hoarded people all over the country. She’s also teamed with extreme-cleaning crews to safely clear out massive clutter situations. She was named “Best Personal Organizer” by Fort Worth, TX Magazine and her tips have been featured in Shape, Woman’s Day, and WeTV as well as many other local and national publications.
When not clearing clutter, Melinda enjoys performing as a supernumerary with the Fort Worth Opera, yoga, cooking, and eating indulgent food, and believes that champagne is meant for the everyday.