Beating Busy


I heard an anecdote once about a woman from another culture who came to the United States and began introducing herself as, “Busy.” She figured it was a customary greeting since she heard it after meeting any American. “Hello, I’m busy. How are you?” So, she told everyone she met that’s who she was.

It’s what most of us are.

I’ve observed at least three inescapable realities about busyness today:

1.    Busyness is no longer an excuse. We’re all busy people and because we’re so busy, we have to learn to be okay with other’s busyness.

2.    There are no obvious indications the pace of life is slowing down. All of us live at a pace of our own choosing, and for the most part, we choose busyness indiscriminately.

3.    Busy is the new fine. When someone asks you, “How are you? How’s life?” You respond in one of two ways: “Fine. Life is good.” Or more likely you’ll say, “Busy. Really busy.”

I have been on a mission to learn everything I can about busyness - about my own busyness - to discover the root causes of busyness in my life, to read everything written about busyness, for the purposes of developing a process to prioritize my calendar based on what I value most.

Calendars are powerful tools to help us organize our lives. I believe our calendars shouldn’t be indiscriminately filled with stuff to keep us busy, (we are busy already), but to reflect what we value most. I’ll say that again.

Your calendar is a tool that reflects what you value most.

Alli Worthington, in her terrific book, Breaking Busy, shares her five core values for determining what gets on her calendar: Faith, Family, Fulfillment, Future, and Friends. I really like her list. It’s clever. But more importantly, it works for her because she did the hard work of identifying her core values and prioritizing her schedule based on those values.

You are uniquely created and called by God to do good work for His glory; therefore, you are uniquely hard-wired with a set of core values. I’ve discovered I’m less busy with busy and more fulfilled when my calendar reflects the values God has wired in me.

You and I are the same when it comes to our calendars. You don’t want “busy” to describe how you live. Like me you are determined to live the abundant life Jesus promises not by filling your calendar with all kinds of busyness, but by prioritizing your calendar - and therefore your life - by what you value most.


  • Take a look at your calendar for the month. What does your calendar say you value?

  • What are your core values and the convictions behind them? Make a list of 5-6 actual core values, and in one sentence explain why.

  • Identify 1 or 2 changes that must be made today so your calendar reflects what you actually value.


·      Breaking Busy by Alli Worthington
·      Crazy Busy by Edward Hallowell
·      123 Life School podcast with Caesar Kalinowski (Ep. #121)