Eradicating The “Busy Bug”: How To Break The Habit of Saying The Word “Busy”

If you’ve read and digested my two recent articles on Why “Busy” Is A Four-Letter Cuss Word, you’ve likely learned a few valuable lessons about workplace communications. For one, you now realize how your workforce isn’t exactly overworked simply because they wax dramatic about how “busy” they are. Furthermore, you yourself are not a martyr for doing the same. A mindset that prompts one to exclaim “Busy” when casually probed about their personal state of affairs is a mindset that breeds stress, unnecessarily. This “busy bug” is contagious, and can actually cause a corporate environment to devolve into a catabolic black hole.

Once your employees have embraced the time log, some liberating email practices, and an environment where it’s no longer considered macho to be busier than the next person, folks will be ready for the next natural step in stopping the spread of the “busy bug”. This will demand more than creating additional clever time-savers like preventing documents from being misfiled (which, by the way, can save 38 wasted hours per year, per employee, according to statistics.) This step must serve to shift your office culture toward a sustained state of anabolic energy. It requires eradicating the language of busyness through the organic process of habit breaking. Read on to learn about my 3 most useful techniques for making this a reality.

Habit-Breaking Begins With YOU.

You can actually set an example for your employees by being mindful not to use the word “busy”. However, to simply stop using the word is impractical. Instead, try replacing “busy” with a word that’s not stress-related. Consider a positive word like “Energized” when asked how you feel about the project you’re working on. Once you’ve gotten into this new rhythm, expand on your response in a way that delivers insight about your direction. “I’m energized by the challenge of cultivating this exciting new client.” The psychology woven into this language is the catalyst for anabolic energy, and will stimulate positivity in the same way that “busy” had been stalling morale.

Feel The Power

As you transition to using positive words and phrasing in the workplace, make a conscious effort to acknowledge how your body feels and your energy changes. For instance, instead of your chest tightening under the weight of catabolic stress, you may notice that your new confidence has made you lighter on your feet. When this happens, employ the double whammy by silently giving yourself a “way-to-go!” Since your brain doesn’t register the differences in impact between small success and large ones, you can dictate the neurological responses that perpetuate feelings of well-being.

Bringing It Public

Once you have experienced the effectiveness of this energy shift technique, prompt your colleagues and employees to adopt it in their careers. An office-wide self-motivation campaign can transform the energy of your corporate culture entirely. Inspire folks to think about the way their bodies feel when they hear the word “busy” vs “energized” or phrases like “my learning curve is steep right now”, and challenge them to imagine how life could be if they began using such phrases. It can become a game of sorts, as they compel themselves to come up with clever alternative answers to the “How are you” question. With a little encouragement, a bad habit can be broken, confidence can be restored, and productivity will be on the rise!

To learn about taking solutions like these to the next level, consider utilizing DRIVEN’s world-class Private Client Services.