Yorkshire Times
Weekend Edition
Luce Smith
Features Writer
9:34 AM 28th November 2019

Busy, Busy, Busy.

Photo by Sven Read on Unsplash
Photo by Sven Read on Unsplash
How are you doing?




Well you know what? I am fed up of hearing that easy response.

What does it mean to respond with ‘I’m busy, I’ve been really busy, sorry but I’m too busy’

Busy with what?


Regular household chores?

Stuck in traffic?

Got 100’s of emails, meetings and only a set amount of working hours each day?

Well guess what, I think we’re all busy and that using the response is just lazy and non descriptive.

Do people say it to make it sound like they are important?

Or that they are successful?

Or too busy to even think of a real response so use it as a quick get out.

People are so busy sharing their world on social media, that they are too busy to respond the traditional way. By spending time to communicate with those who are actually bothering to ask and offering to listen. Making it two way.

Like it used to be, like it was designed to be.

Too busy, or too lazy?

What does it mean to be busy and when did we start using it as a generic response to all?

Using it as a response is a very quick way to end the conversation in my view. It doesn’t invite further conversation. It’s like a slap in the face and doesn’t really make you want to repeat the question another time. It actually makes me want to respond with, “oh ok, I’ve had a really lazy day at work, just been sitting around and watching the clock”…….

Let’s have a quick example of the word in practice;

Hi, how was your day? Oh boy it was so busy, back to back meetings and now I have to go and make tea ready for another busy day tomorrow. It’s so busy!

Let’s remove the swear word of busy, and see how else that person could respond;

Hi, how was your day? Oh boy, it was filled with meeting some new clients, managing projects with some of my team and having some great conversations about some future work. Now I am off to make a well earned tea, and enjoy sitting down to chill out in front of the tv. How was yours?

See the difference if we choose not to say busy?

The definition of busy is having a great deal to do. Working hard. Many of us are busy 24/7. But it’s not necessarily a description of how you are. In fact the word stemmed from Old English as being careful, anxious. Would we use it so much if we knew we were telling people we were anxious? It is also said to have once been a euphemism for ‘sexually active”. Still going to use the word ‘busy’ as your response when people ask how you are?

See how much you hear it when you are chatting to people, or perhaps stop yourself from saying it and try answering with other words.


I was almost too busy to write this.

You may have been too busy to read this.

But what does being busy help us achieve?

Are you busy? Or too lazy to reply with detail?

Such fun!