Busy is a Decision

Savvy Saturdays (1/16/21)

I was listening to an audiobook called Tribe of Mentors, a book by Tim Ferris in which many inspirational people answered 11 questions to give insight to readers on lifelong living.

Questions like:

  • What purchase of $100 or less has significantly impacted your life in 6 months or less?

  • What is an unusual habit or an absurd thing that you love?

  • What are the bad recommendations you hear in your profession or area of expertise?

One of the mentors who spoke, Debbie Millman, quoted something, that hits really hard.

Busy is a decision.

Now I’m not sure about you, but going through high school and college, I felt like busy was my default mode. It was something I had to go through.

Additionally, busyness was something to boast about. As a student, being able to boast busyness with fewer hours of sleep was a badge to wear on the sleeve.

And the world seemed to thrive off of busyness.

  • Lawyers and doctors who put in the most hours seemed to achieve high accolades, during and after school.

  • Students stayed up late for tests, multi-tasking “Chill beats” or Youtube/Netflix in the background.

  • Parents spent restless hours keeping their house clean and family orderly.

But while busyness can seem to make life feel more meaningful, and there are times when busyness is necessary, the truth is that busyness is a choice.

Countless friends have called me out for being “busy”, because my focus was not on quality time with friends, but on other tasks I had at hand. Because I didn’t know how to say no, my plate was too full to even give an inch of time to spend with them.

I even remember a time in January when a specific group of friends asked if I wanted to watch Ip Man together (a great way to reconnect outside of work hours), and when I pulled out my calendar, I asked if we could set up a time in mid/end of March.

Two. Months. Later.

You can imagine their response was not the best, and even though I’ve gotten better with making time since then (less than a month now… okay a week), I’ve never heard the end from them on that incident.

In the end, busyness is a choice, and we make time for the things we care about.

Rather than letting busy be a default response to people, I recognize the only way to be less busy is to say no to more things, to prioritize and execute on what actually matters, and to learn to make time.

Questions to ponder: 🤔

  • Do you tend to say you’re busy and not be able to partake in what really matters?

  • What are things you can say no to in order to make time for what matters?


Weekly Collections

A collection of resources for you to enjoy… 📰 🎬 🎙️


If you ever want to start a company, and need all the tools or get a high-level idea of the whole process, this video covers it all.


An interesting insight into the making of Restaurant burritos 🌯 (the secret is in the wrapping… well not in the wrapping but the “wrapping” itself)

Data Insights

(read more about this graph in this article about the time we spend with others in our lifetimes)

Weekly Tidbits

Learnings, verses, & quotes to chew on… 🧐

Verse of the Week

“Whoever loves his brother abides in the light, and in him there is no cause for stumbling.

But whoever hates his brother is in the darkness and walks in the darkness, and does not know where he is going, because the darkness has blinded his eyes.”

1 John 2:10-11

Challenging Quote

“Boxing is a sport of self-control. You must understand fear so you can manipulate it.

Fear is like fire. You can make it work for you: it can warm you in the winter, cook your food when you’re hungry, give you light when you are in the dark, and produce energy. Let it go out of control and it can hurt you, even kill you.

Fear is a friend of exceptional people.”

Cus D'Amato

Weekly Update

Personal life stuff… 🔔

Hello friends,

Greetings from Dallas! 👋

This update is going to be short because my energy levels are short. 🩳 (shorts)

I had a whole portion of goals/processes to share, but I will postpone that to a future update.😅

I’ll be honest this past week was a lot of last-minute meetings & hangouts, since I’ll be yeeting back to Austin, and I ended up not prioritizing my time. Fortunately, I had written out drafts for several posts ahead of time so say hello to 12 AM Eric, instead of 3 AM Ericano (haha like Americano… )

That horrible caffeinated joke aside, I’ve recently got really into the stories of Navy Seals - their tenacity and grit to prioritize, execute, and lead.

Honestly, I don’t think I would survive a single day of the Hell week training that they undergo when being onboarded, but I definitely fantasized as I listened to people like David Goggins and Jocko Willink shared their stories enduring all those hardships and coming out with a ferocious mindset and work ethic. (10/10 would recommend reading Can’t Hurt Me & Extreme Ownership 💪).

Anyway, these leaders inspired me to try and wake up earlier to make time to do the hard and most important stuff first (exercise, write, devos & pray), and with that, I’ve been having to try and sleep earlier. I’m listening to a book called “Sleep Smarter” to supplement my resting habits, and honestly, I still suck at sleeping early and waking up to the alarm clock. (my discipline still needs work).

Maybe one day I can be consistent with my habits. 🤔

All those updates aside, here are several pictures from this past week: 📷

As always, thanks for stopping by in the update, and getting this far! (it’s always a lot, I know 😅)

Stay safe 😷 , keep it savvy 😎, and I’ll see y’all in the next update 😊


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Want to write a guest post? Have a cool article, resource, verse, or quote to share? Email me @ eric-lee [at] utexas [dot] edu.