Breaking Up With Busy Week 3 - Saying no!


Today on "Breaking Up With Busy" we're talking about how sometimes "No" is the best answer you can give.

And last week that's what we talked about: boundaries. But sometimes those boundaries are hard to make happen when you struggle to say no.

No is a word we aren't often comfortable with. It's heavy, and final. So here is my tip on saying no with ease.

How to say no with ease:

Sometimes saying no begins by not saying yes. It may sound like the same thing, but it isn't.

It's about giving yourself the space to assess whether or not this project or activity is: a priority, something you have the time for, and something you would like to be involved in. 

We are often pressured in the moment to give hard yes or no answers, but it's important to be thoughtful about what you're adding to your schedule, no matter how "minor" it may seem. 

Here's an example:

The next time you are asked to be a part of a new project, or take on an extra activity, instead of feeling pressured to say a hard yes or no, you could say "My schedule is currently very full. Let me talk with my family, and let you know."

This allows you that space to do exactly that: look at your schedule, check with your partner, and consider if this project or activity aligns with how you want to spend your time, and/or if it takes away from any other important areas of your life.

Start by not saying yes!

Start by not saying yes and it will lead to: choosing the best yes, and saying no will be easier.

I hope this example helps you think about where you are saying yes and no in your life and gives you some room to consider how to best manage those situations.

You are empowered to choose how you spend your time. You are empowered to say no!

Please let me know how it goes this week to "break up with busy!" Next week we are talking a bit more about how self-care can help lessen the feeling of "busy."

Find me on Instagram (@earlgreyandpolkadots) and tell me how your journey is going!

Breaking Up With Busy Week 2: Boundaries

In this week’s episode of “Breaking Up With Busy” we’re talking about the good, the bad, and the boundaries. Okay, we’re mostly talking about boundaries but we are having some of my favorite {hashtag} real talk.

So let’s start at the very beginning: what do boundaries have to do with “busy-ness?”

What do boundaries have to do with "busy-ness?"

I'll start with a story: last year I was having a tea date with one of my best friends and she was lamenting to me that she felt overwhelmed by the amount of people who wanted to take her to coffee and “pick her brain” about business (she is a business coach). She also had a few friends who thought because she worked from home and for herself that she had all the time in the world to grab lunch, or hang out. Her weeks were filling up and she was feeling behind on work.

This frustrating situation was happening because she had not drawn clear boundaries about her work time and her personal time.

Without clear boundaries our days fill up like items on a to do list!

Last year I listened to the audio version of “Essentialism” by Greg McKeown (I can't recommend this book more!) and he said something that really hit home: if you don’t set boundaries in your life, someone else will set them for you. Your boss, your friends, your family.

So the question I have for you is: are there places in your life where you need set clearer boundaries?

Are there places in your life where you need set clearer boundaries?

Here are a few examples:

Is Sunday your family day with your husband and your kids but you regularly cave into having friends or extended family over because you are "free" that day? Set that clear boundary. 

Do you have that one person in your life who shows up at your house uninvited and with no warning? We love our friends and family, but set that boundary that a phone call or an invite are needed for a visit.

Finally a tough one: do you bring work home with you? Or work lots of weekends? If your work is strangling your home and family life now is the time to set some clear boundaries. It may be difficult but an honest conversation with a boss or supervisor is the best way to set boundaries so you can work to your best ability. Often bosses and supervisors don't know you have too much on your plate unless you tell them. And, obviously, a conversation like this is one should be approached with tact and thoughtfulness.

To finish the story I began at the beginning: I recommended my friend set a price for a consultation on business, and let friends and family know her working hours.

These clear boundaries made it so much easier for her to say "I'd love to talk to you about business. You can visit my website to see what my one hour business consultations are all about!"

And to friends: "I work until 7pm but I'd love to grab a cocktail with you after!"

We can be empowered to choose boundaries over busyness!

We can be empowered to choose boundaries over busyness!

You are empowered to choose boundaries over busyness.  You are empowered to choose space over endless tasks, meetings, and work.

I believe you will find that setting those boundaries for yourself will also allow you to be present when working, relaxing, or spending time with loved ones. You won't be thinking about your busyness because you've eliminated some of the pressure and guilt. 

Finally, YOU GOT THIS! Start small, or go big! Just start. The more you set those boundaries the easier it will be. And the more spaciousness and clarity you will have in your daily life!

Please let me know how it goes this week to "break up with busy!" Next week we are diving into saying "No!" which is the next step to breaking up with busy!

Find me on Instagram (@earlgreyandpolkadots) and tell me how your journey is going!

With love & tea,


Breaking Up With Busy Week 1: Change your language!


Let me ask you a question: how often do you answer "busy" to the question "How have you been?"

A lot? Or at least regularly? I spent years of my life (especially once I became a part of the corporate world) answering that question with: busy.

I wore my busy-ness as a badge of honor. I was proud of it. If I was busy then I was productive and successful.

How many of us measure even some part of our success by how busy we are? Or by how many projects we're juggling? Or even, sadly, by how little sleep we get?

Do you wear busyness as a badge of honor?

I’m over here raising my hand. Because I still fall into this trap. I still want to (and still do) answer that question with “busy,” out of habit.

And yet, busy-ness isn’t the test of success; at least, I don’t think it should be.

I am working toward changing my measure of success to the following: Am I making time for my family & friends? Am I building rest into my life? Am I creating space for joy, love, and curiosity?

Are you creating space for joy, love, and curiosity?

One of the most powerful tools in our human tool belt is language. When we are ready to make big shifts in our behavior and mindset we must start with language. And it is just as important to consider what we say to others as it is to consider what we say to ourselves.

We need to think about how it affects our children, friends, students, or loved ones when we wear that busy-ness as a badge of honor. We perpetuate the myth that busyness is the norm, that it is an important part of success & productivity, that it is aspirational. And all the while we devalue play, rest, and self care.

But we can be empowered to make a change, to be the leaders in this change, and make room for the good stuff: joy, love, curiosity, rest, self care, friends, family, and the list goes on and on.

Here is how we can start:

1. Answer thoughtfully & truthfully when asked "How are you?" but try to use words other than busy and the like.

2. Consider what words you use when "talking" to yourself, whether that be out loud or internally (I personally talk out loud to myself a LOT). Try to reframe "I'm so busy" thoughts & words with gratitude. "I'm busy because I've been blessed with close friends and family." Or "My schedule has filled up because my business is doing well."

3. Finally, going forward start to notice when others answer with "busy" to the common "how are you?" questions. When appropriate, consider empowering them to change their language, or send them my way! A rising tide lifts all boats - so remember to empower with kindness and love, not admonition. 

Let's break up with busy TOGETHER! No need to go it alone! Find me on Instagram and let me know how it's going to 'break up with busy!" 

With love & tea,


Photo by Glenn Carstens-Peters on Unsplash