As "back to school" season approaches, or in some cases is already here, (That's a whole weird phenomenon, isn't it?) I had the fleeting thought of how busy parents will be "at this time of year".
The really funny thing, is that I've had that same thought pretty much every month this year, and I expect I will for the remainder of the year as well.
We go from "just after the holidays" to "spring break" to "Easter and Passover" to "end of school" to "summer starting" to "summer ending" to "back to school" to Halloween to Thanksgiving to Christmas and Hanukkah.
You're busy with the kids in school, you're busy with the kids out of school. You're travelling for work, you're travelling for rest.
What's my point?
Very often, both in business and in personal invitations, you'll receive the "I'm too busy" response. This could be in response to a sales presentation, a networking event, a grand opening, or an invitation to gather the girls around a few bottles of wine any given evening.
Sometimes your on the receiving end of the "I'm too busy" response and you put that person into your mental tickler file to extend the next invitation to. Very often that response will never change, no matter what month, what time of year you extend that invitation unless something changes in that person's circumstances for them to see and appreciate the intrinsic value in your invitation.
Sometimes you're on the giving end of the "I'm too busy" response. I used the word response, when I really should have used the word excuse.
It's not that you don't very honestly believe that you are too busy. I believe you. You are busy.
The point is, you're always going to be busy. Even if you win the lottery tomorrow and can afford to never work again, you're going to be busy.
But here's the real problem... somewhere down the road, you may regret those opportunities you passed by. The girlfriend who invited you to watch her son's first baseball game, the networking event you heard so much buzz about the next day, the evening of joy, laughter and connection with friends, the sales presentation where you would have met the perfect business partner.
There will always be "stuff". While I don't recommend overextending yourself, as we sometimes do, I do recommend taking a beat the next time you receive an invitation before giving the auto response "That sounds so great! I'm too busy this week, maybe next time." If it really sounds so great, will you actually be less busy next time, or is it worth it to see what you can do to fit it into your schedule?
Cause, there will always be "stuff" and we only get 1 go around at this life of ours.