A ban on busy
I’ve been trying an experiment. Whenever I want to use the word “busy,” I substitute another word instead. I’ve been trying “excited” with mixed results. “I’ve been too excited with these projects to give you a call,” works. But it breaks down when trying to use it instead of saying no. “I’m too excited to speak at your conference,” hasn’t been as effective. Regardless, “excited” becomes a busy detox, the training wheels you need to get off busy. After a while, speaking of busy — perhaps even being busy — won’t feel as natural.
In the meantime, I’m still working up an alternate word list.
Have you tried not to say “no” for an entire day? It’s really difficult sometimes, but it can totally transform the conversations that you have.