It’s Your Choice: The Antidote For Being Too Busy

Natalie MacNeil talks about how to tame your too busy schedule

Tell me if this sounds familiar: You run into someone you haven’t seen for a while and ask them how they’re doing and they say, “I am sooooo busy.” Or maybe someone asks you about how things are going and your knee-jerk response is to reply, “I’m really busy,” maybe even with a bit of pride at how busy you are.

We are living in a very fast-paced world and I think we’re all feeling the pressure. I was recently in a café and heard a woman who was preoccupied on her phone tell her young daughter, “Mommy’s busy right now. Hold on.” Seriously, everything is moving so quickly that something’s gotta give.

Luckily, I’ve got an antidote for all that busy-ness and I’m going to share it with you in today’s episode of She Takes on the World TV. Join me for the video below:



To watch this week’s episode, go to:

Okay, let’s recap. Here are three steps you can take right now to tame that busy schedule of yours:

  1. Recognize that you always have a choice about what fills your time. For example, you can choose to let an email wait in your inbox instead of responding right away or you can choose to unplug from social media and texting for a set period of time so you can be more present with those you love. YOU have control over your own schedule.
  2. Drop the BUSY BADGE OF HONOR. Stop engaging with all your busy friends in the one-up contest of who stayed up working the latest or whose schedule is the most jam-packed. Remember, no one ever really wins in a “who’s busiest” contest. (Click to tweet!)
  3. Resist the temptation to judge other peoples’ schedules or how busy you perceive them to be. Just focus on sweeping your own side of the street. We all choose how we spend our time, and what’s busy for some might not seem all that busy to you. (See #2; it’s not a contest!)

My actionable for you this week is to shift your perspective when it comes to being busy.


If you’re feeling too busy, remind yourself that YOU HAVE A CHOICE and have the power to make a change. If someone sets you off and makes you want to bust out your BUSY BADGE OF HONOR, don’t engage in a busy battle that you know won’t serve you.

The next time someone asks how you’re doing, my hope is that you’ll be able to smile and tell them how much you’re really enjoying having some free time on your hands. It’s a beautiful thing!

Please leave a comment below if this resonates with you; I’d love to hear what steps you’re taking to be a little less busy in your own life.

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10 thoughts on “It’s Your Choice: The Antidote For Being Too Busy

  1. Many gems of wisdom in there, Natalie – this video is one to watch several times over 🙂

    It ties in nicely with a quote from Earnest Hemmingway that I just read: “Never mistake motion for action.” The people who are “too busy” are usually caught up in motions, without taking any real action – they lack focus on what is really most important to them.

    It also reminds me of a guy, Jeff, who I used to work with many years ago. As he worked, he used to sing a a song:
    “I’m busy doing nothing,
    Working the whole day through,
    Trying so very hard to find
    Nothing at all to do!.
    Jeff was the happiest guy in that place 🙂

  2. Steve – love that song! A great definition of the corporate world!

    I was having a similar conversation with a friend yesterday where we were discussing taking a tango class and we both immediately agreed ‘we’re too busy’. And then I said ‘are we busy, or are we just not making time for it?’

    So we booked a class ! Choose how you spend your time, not the other way around.
    – Razwana

  3. One of your best videos Natalie. The busy mantra is one of my pet peeves. I’m a high energy person that takes on a lot… by choice. As of late, I’ve slowed things down a bit … by choice. And I’m always surprised when people say, “I know you’re so busy but….” And I tell them I ALWAYS have time for things that need my attention and I’m not THAT busy anymore. So here’s the thing that I’ve realized — although I stopped saying “I’m so busy” years ago, my demeanor and aura put that out there. So it’s important to be present, to slow your actions down and not appear anxious to rush to the next thing. Thanks for the great thoughts and I’ll be sharing for sure!

    1. Great video, staying up all night and feeling completely haggard the next day should not be a source of pride! I like Cathy’s follow-up observation too- it’s important to be mindful of how we project ourselves.

  4. I try not to confuse “busy” with “I’m checking my facebook”..but I was there! I love your video because I hate how everyone “thinks” they are too busy!! In reality, they are just not prioritizing!! I am guilty of asking my kids to “hold on a second, I want to post this picture on facebook”, but I do get to them and put my phone away as soon as possible.

  5. Hi Natalie,
    This is a topic very much at the forefront of my mind, right now… especially the part about people passing judgement on the way others wish to spend their time. So much so, I published a blog post about it just this week –
    Thank you, as always, for sharing those pearls of wisdom. Your weekly dose of soaring inspiration really does help me in my business and my life 🙂
    Sue x

  6. Great video Natalie.

    This is definitely great advice for just about anyone in today’s world. I will definitely be trying to take your advice. Life is too short to be overwhelmed each day by things you can control.

    Thanks for sharing! 🙂


  7. While I really appreciate the bigger picture of what you’re saying here, being one of those moms who right now is going through a busy phase (divorce, two small children under the age of 8, and my own business with demanding clients and employees), I was actually pretty bothered by your judgmental story.

    That mom was taking time out of her day to be with her daughter. So it wasn’t perfect – maybe she got an urgent work call? Maybe she had to pay a bill she forgot about? Maybe a friend was having a rough time? You have no idea what was taking that mom away. And while I agree we live in a culture of distraction, I am that mom, and “honey, hang on, I’m busy” is a standard line in my household, but it’s not because I wouldn’t prefer to be spending time with my daughters.

    Anyways, I’m sure an attack on moms wasn’t your point, but it really bugged me and I had to speak in defense of overworked (and underpaid!) moms who miss out on much desired one on one time bc they’re trying to create a good life. Nevertheless, your point is well-taken! Choosing to be less-busy and prioritize time is always a good idea. Thanks!

  8. I have just discovered ‘She Takes on the World’ thanks to your interview on ‘Eventual Millionaire’ and am loving these videos! This one in particular; so true. Thank you for sharing, I am looking forward to discovering more!

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