An observation…on being “Busied Out"

Ajani O
4 min readAug 9, 2021

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I’ve noticed during reopening that I cannot be busied out of my own life. That’s to mean, the goals I’ve already decided are on the “lifestyle plan" to keep me in sync “today" with where I want to be “tomorrow”.

In order to know something I’m doing today is on track for that tomorrow. I need to have the ability to scale the results of my “actions" within a given day.

With reopening I’ve noticed how quickly others can assume that their vision of “tomorrow” to be equal to yours. Also I’ve noticed how I can’t keep up with all the promises to deliver specific results to a level that I’m comfortable with while picking up so many activities in my schedule. At some point something has to give and often times I’ve learned towards stretching my focused working hours to accommodate.

This is a little bit different for me since I don’t view most of my work as “work" since I enjoy what I’ve been doing but…. I’ve seen what happens when work is actually “work” due to reopening… it sucks…it’s annoying and all the “asks" (demands on my focus time) are fighting each other for space on the calendar.

I’ve come to the point where I must actually know what I can produce in the given time or else I can’t schedule it.

And therein lies the rub….

Since happiness (joy curve vs opportunity cost) is high on my “lifestyle plan" scheduling decisions… how do I make sure I guarantee myself enough happy time… that I’m actually happy with. For example, I love coaching football and had an opportunity to grow my coaching abilities by being the DC for a youth team…. However, I’ve learned now I simply don’t have the time to be as good as I expect from myself in this role. The reason being… I’m too busy with my priorities that are higher on the criticality/priority list for the “lifestyle plan" expectations I have for myself “tomorrow" (IE: years from now in this context).

So I’m technically “busied out" from being the Defensive Coordinator I’ve wanted to be and now I’m being “something else"…. Something lesser haha while still having to be committed to not letting these kids and other coaches down.

It’s taught me a valuable lesson on being busied out and I’m excited to have recognized what was happening to be able to scale my own expectations of myself to be in reality.

The reality is…. I’m gonna be a shitty DC in terms of my own personal expectations because I cannot do that job well while doing my real job at the standard I need to maintain. So without having the ability to scale this would be very hard for me to accept… because “the standard is the standard” and you must always “give 100%”. I can see that I’m giving 100% of say…. 60% of me on this DC issue… and I’m actually okay with that because I’ve been able to reframe myself and recognize that my 60% is others 100% as well… I don’t have to compete with myself and I’m my own harshest critic. So I’ve found a way to not be busied out by being very focused on maximizing what the 60% version of me has to offer to everyone on the team.

So now I’m back to being very happy with my commitment to being the best version of me in the “lifestyle plan"… and what that best version is scaling to is the opportunity cost of even being a “DC" (there are only so many meaningful opportunities to even be able to learn your personal style with this role) and that’s the massive positive… and I love spending my time growing in this area… no matter what the alternative “cost" is for how else I could have chosen to spend that time.

So being busied out on that DC role has enabled me to see where it’s happening at work… and in social interactions…. And at home with my roommate.

I’ve been able to start “envisioning” my next steps to stop all the other folks busying me out of my own life… and that experience has been invaluable.

Covid lockdown’s have taught me a lot of being busied out from the things I love (why the activities are in the schedule in the first place) by others and I’ll be pretty vigilant at using my personal tracking tools to make sure I’m living the life I ultimately love to live. It really can and is that simple but…. How to make it so is very complex :-)…. This piece is really a follow up to how I noticed I’m having gaps in scaling my today to my tomorrow and I think it’s awesome to have even learned a little bit about how I can get better at that by using these recent examples to really set my life up to be as great as it can be once everything is “back to normal” (if that ever happens haha).

On a personal note, I’ve actually had the benefit to be living my “normal” lifestyle in it’s purest form since the lockdown’s started and Yes I certainly hated some things but also found so many opportunities to improve that it’s been quite a great period of life for me overall. Going forward as things reopen or return to “normalcy” I’d love to see that calmness in my schedule and my understanding of “why" something is directly tied into the lifestyle plan last for a longggggg time to enable me to really feel amazed by how my days are set up. Going forward this will be a huge small win for me and I think I’m getting closer and closer to accomplishing it!

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Ajani O

U of T Grad... Project Management Career Seeking Extraordinary Human Being...