When I’m busy, I’ll sometimes catch myself saying “this week is crazy.” This is a bad habit, and I want to break it.
The language we use to describe the world to ourselves is important. It shapes our beliefs and our actions.
When you say your schedule is “crazy”, you’re telling yourself these things:
- You’re out of control. Crazy implies “out of control.” If you tell yourself you’re not in control, that will become more true than ever.
- It’s not your fault. This week is crazy also implies that the crazy is happening to you. It’s the week that is crazy, it’s not anything that you did. Yes, unexpected things happen, but you ultimately choose what you do with your time. Take ownership over your commitments and responsibilities.
- You’re trying to be nice. Sometimes you say this week is crazy because you don’t want to accept an invitation to socialize. If craziness is happening to you, you don’t have to feel bad for saying no. It’s not your fault, it’s the craziness. The craziness of the week, mind you. It’s out of control. This isn’t fair to yourself, nor the other person.
- You think you’re hot stuff. If I say this week is crazy, I feel superior for a moment. I have important things to do, and so I must be important. If you think you’re important, you’ll fail to do important work.
Searching for some alternative, I took to Twitter to ask what I should say when things are crazy.
Hectic. Nah, it’s the same thing, just a different way of saying it.
Overwhelmed. It still makes it sound like it’s happening to you. As if none of it is your fault.
Busy. Overextended. Swamped. The same.
The one I liked the most: Overcommitted. Yes, there’s too much to do given the amount of time I have. But I made the commitments. I had some idea how much time I had, and I chose to take up too much of it. Now I have to deal with it.
It might not be your fault, but it’s still your responsibility. It’s not crazy, I’m overcommitted.