Since originally reading The Busy Trap, I’ve tried to avoid using “busy” as a keyword in a standard response to someone’s inquiry into my well-being (which of course, as a human, I often fail at). I’ve also tried to stop thinking about having a consistent stream of opportunities for work and fun as things that happen to me and instead as things I create and embrace to build a fulfilling life for myself.
And now that I’m “running my own business” (and by that I mean—doing work I know how to do, and figuring the rest out along the way), I’m getting even more “pick your brain?” and “catch up?” coffee or drink requests than I was before. Admittedly, it’s been hard for me to justify which meetings to take and which to politely decline, because the reality is that I earn a living by the minutes I can commit to client work. It’s a pickle, because my time, like everyone else’s, is precious…but also because I’m a full-blown E and I legitimately love these meet-up opportunities.
Last week at CoCo’s first unlea(she)d event, Nancy Lyons said something that resonated with me. She suggested that we, as people in this pickle (my word, not hers), should always take that coffee because not one of us got to where we are by ourselves. I will always attribute much of my opportunities and success to the people I’ve met, the network I’ve built. To those I now call friends, colleagues, former bosses, even acquaintances. To people who’ve made time for coffee or a drink with me.
Yes, you’re probably busy. And yes, sometimes it might feel like you’re trapped, and that you’re not in control. But remember:
The present hysteria is not a necessary or inevitable condition of life; it’s something we’ve chosen, if only by our acquiescence to it. – The ‘Busy’ Trap, Tim Kreider
And remember the people who’ve made time for you.