Why busy is new lazy and why it matters, blog by Lisa van Reeuwyk @BloomLisa

Is Busy the New Lazy?

Years ago, one of my daughters was playing dress up and was talking on an old flip phone when I heard her say “No, I can’t play with you, I’m too busy working.” I felt like I was hit by a bus with that one simple sentence. Hearing my daughter talk about being busy like it was a badge of honour was a massive wake up call.

Right then and there I decided to banish the word busy and replace it something that reflected the appreciation I had for all the busy and I landed on the word robust. Think about it, all these meetings, lessons and obligations are signs of a thriving life and something to be grateful for. When you say the word busy, doesn’t it feel like a burden and trigger an instantaneous stress response?

What is your word to replace busy?

Busy is a a catch all word that actually functions as a barrier to new possibilities and expansion in life. Far too many of my business coaching clients share with me that they are burnt out and tired of being so stinking’ busy. They are constantly reacting to their life while desiring a new way of operating their business model where they can initiate change ON purpose.

I’ve yet to meet anyone who doesn’t want to have more space to live and express themselves authentically, to take more time out so they can show up intentionally for their time in.

Here we are at the end of 2021, approaching two years of living and working in a global pandemic and I’m left reflecting about how people can create and cultivate deeper and meaningful change in their life. In a world that focuses on more, the idea of doing less furrows many a brow faster than Instagram can announce another update to their platform.

This idea that busy is the new lazy has me excited.

No one wants to be lazy and yet we wear “being busy” like a 90’s trend. Despite knowing that people don’t work like machines; running constantly at continually optimized rates, we are modelling this behaviour for Gen Z. When you say the word busy, what response do you feel in your body? How about when you say robust? Does one make your feel heavy and the other light? How about a tightness in your throat or a tightening in your stomach?

Behaviours rarely change overnight but freeing up space in your life creates a radical revolution in every aspect of your life. A mindset shift of “less is more”, is the best investment you’ll ever make. Knowing that when you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change. That when you create time for being in the present moment you allow your vision and passion for your career to both arise and take root.

Innovation, joy and creativity is not found hammering away at a keyboard, or fluctuating between reactions of a steady stream of requests. There is a reason people like Bill Gates take Reading Weeks and retreats are growing more popular all the time.

I’m a big fan of the word invest. It isn’t just something we do for our retirement plan, every single choice and decision is an investment. Do you invest in life long learning, your health and wellness, your business development and do you invest in time to pause?

How to recognize if you are using being busy as a crutch

You pick up your phone more than once an hour for random app checking. Not sure, check your Phone Settings.

You say no to new opportunities for growth both personally and professionally (that you WANT to say yes to) because you feel overwhelmed.

You push things off year after year that would help you grow, because you have no bandwidth for anything outside the current demands on your time?

Are you initiating change in your business or do you respond and react to what’s coming down the pipeline in the moment?

One simple way to harness the power of your time is with my weekly planner & goal tracker, My Life ON Purpose. It’s simple, habit forming and you’ll see results in the first week.

Grab your copy here.

PS – Start blocking you calendar so you can leave 30% open. You can use this time for you to work on big picture projects, re-schedule important meetings, make time for those new opportunities for growth and stop using busy as shield to protect you from a live well lived.

Onwards & upwards,
Your Coach,


Photo By: Michele Mateus Photography

Connect on IG: @BloomLisa

Read more of my blogs for entrepreneurs.