Andre Torrez wrote today about a lesson that I was lucky enough to learn fairly early in life. It’s that he’s not busy, and neither is anybody else:
So the final piece I have been working on is never telling people I am busy. Because no, I am not busy. Yes, I have a lot of stuff to do, but I leave it at the office after work and on the weekends. I have many things I am interested in, but I can always make room for something if it is worth doing.
Rather than say: “I am too busy, I don’t have any time for X.” I realize I can be honest and say I am not interested enough in X to do it.
When I was in college a friend of mine told me that he read the first section of the Wall Street Journal every day. I responded by saying I was too busy to do that. This was of course hilarious if only because I was a total slacker who managed to get in at least an hour or two of Tetris on the Nintendo every day no matter what else was happening. I also usually found time to play two or three hours of pick-up basketball and, if I was lucky, make a late night nacho run as well.
Anyway, when I made the patently absurd claim that I was too busy to do something, he told me that it wasn’t that I was busy, but that reading the paper was not a priority for me. It was such an obviously true statement that I immediately feel a twinge of shame every time I’m tempted to claim I’m too busy to do something to this day.
I learned this week that my college friend was just promoted to be Vice President and Controller at a big utility company.