Photograph of an hourglass sand timer

Time is running out.
Give up busyness for Life.

Why give up busyness?

You might just find you get more done . . .

Busyness has become a disease.

The developed world is suffering from an epidemic of major proportions, and the disease at the heart of it is busyness.

We are addicted to doing one thing after another with as little down-time as possible. This is a sickness, a spiritual sickness.

Time is so precious because . . .

  • It can't be stored or managed
  • The longer you live the faster time ebbs away
  • You only live once
  • It's a gift

The Challenge

I'M NOT BUSY is a message both to yourself and to others. It doesn't say that you have no pressures, demands or deadlines. It means that you are not going to let them rule your life or eat into your soul.

Find out how

Why is busyness so bad?

  • It distorts your perception
  • It makes you feel self-important
  • It makes you rude
  • It's an excuse for impatience
  • It's an excuse for not getting things done
  • It's addictive
  • It burns you out
  • It's lazy – chronic busyness occurs when you have not asked the important questions or decided on your priorities

Image of a clock face with blurred second hand

How to give up busyness

The Challenge

People who give up busyness will each find their own way of doing it. However, the core idea is to spend a limited time each day – between 10 and 30 minutes - doing absolutely nothing, just letting time pass.

This challenge will be far more transformative than a busy person like you can imagine. It will be a real challenge – quite difficult, actually.

That is why we are inviting people to share their stories and encourage others.

So – put the I'M NOT BUSY badge on your Twitter or Facebook profile photo, tell people your story of trying to do nothing, and ask friends to join in and to hold you to account.

Have conversations – real or virtual – about it:

“Did you do nothing today?”
“Yes, it was great.”

“Are you busy?”
“No way! But I feel alive and am getting loads done.”

You are now ready to Spread the Word!

10 Top Tips

  1. Decide never to describe yourself as busy.
  2. Don't let others get away with saying “I thought you'd be too busy”.
  3. Take some time out to do nothing every day. Time it. Sit still. Let life be.
  4. Make a two-column To Do list regularly. One column is entitled “Must Do”, the other “May Do”.
  5. Draw up a list of things you are not going to do (your “Don't Do” list).
  6. Stop using your smartphone as an alarm clock. Keep it out of the bedroom.
  7. Arrive and leave on time.
  8. Book your holiday time well in advance.
  9. Earmark some time in your diary for “preparation” and some for “catch-up” every week.
  10. Tell someone else that you are giving up busyness and ask them to monitor you for “white rabbit behaviour”.

Time Wisdom in an Hour!

Read the book! Specially written to help you give up busyness for Life, Beyond Busyness: Time Wisdom in an Hour is a (very) cheap e-book (and paperback) for busy people.

Want to take it to the next level?

Read the other book! Beyond Busyness: Time Wisdom for Ministry is an easily-digestible guide to ridding your life of busyness. In fact, it was while working on the book that the very idea for I'M NOT BUSY materialised. Find out more about the story behind the campaign.

Spread the word!


Tell others that you have given up busyness for Life

Share your time wisdom experiences

Share via email and Social Media

On your website

Add the I'M NOT BUSY badge to your website. Copy and paste the HTML below into the HTML on your website:

In most case, the HTML should be added immediately after the opening <body> tag, but you are welcome to modify the code to suit your circumstances, so long as the link address and image remain the same.


Follow us to receive time wisdom tips.

On Twitter

On Facebook

By Email

Add the Twibbon!

Add the I'M NOT BUSY Twibbon to your Twitter and Facebook profile pic!

Time Wisdom in an Hour

A (very) cheap e-book and paperback designed to help you give up busyness in an hour.

Give the gift of Time Wisdom

Send copies of the (other) book to the busiest people you know!


I'M NOT BUSY came about spontaneously and serendipitously, just in the nick of time. Thanks to some creativity – not to mention a dash of time wisdom! – it became a reality. Here is the story . . .

Why “Time Wisdom”?

Over the last several years, Stephen Cherry – who was a Canon at Durham Cathedral with responsibility for ministerial training in the Diocese of Durham, before becoming Dean of King's College, Cambridge – has sought to understand the time pressures facing people today and to try to find some answers. His exploration has taken him away from traditional time management and led him to come up with the idea of time wisdom.

While not turning its nose up at anything that helps people handle time issues better, time wisdom is more connected to spirituality than to management. It seeks to balance the desire for efficiency and effectiveness with the need for personal enrichment and wellbeing.

Time Wisdom – The Book

In the summer of 2012 Stephen published the book Beyond Busyness to share his time wisdom approach with clergy and others involved in ministry. Since then it has been well received not only by men and women of the cloth but by others who have come across it.

One lay person who read it commented, “Who says this is just for vicars and ministers? Beyond Busyness is a great book for anyone who feels too busy!” A school chaplain said it transformed her life and promptly bought a copy for the head and deputy.

The germ of an idea

The I'M NOT BUSY campaign was conceived when the book's publishers placed an advert in two Christian newspapers (the Church Times and the Catholic Herald) headed “Give Up Busyness For Lent!” Only after they had reflected on it did the team realise that this was actually quite a good idea.

No – a really good idea.

The book is based on the observation that many people's lives are out of control and need some to be calmed down, so when better to have a go at getting a better balance than Lent – the time when people often give up treats or minor vices? To give up busyness, on the other hand, is to give up something that feels like a virtue but is, in fact, quite a corrosive vice when it becomes a way of life rather than a response to particular circumstances.

About the campaign

At the core of the I'M NOT BUSY campaign is the idea that people find some way of putting the brake on busyness. One is to dedicate a short but measured time each day to doing nothing. This sounds like the simplest thing in the world – and at one level it is. But it has the capacity to begin a profound and far reaching set of changes that will have positive health and spiritual benefits of the individual.

Sacristy Press, who published Beyond Busyness, are supporting the campaign by providing this website which will be the campaign's hub and a source of encouragement and support for those who want to join in and give up busyness.

Spread the Word and be notified when new resources become available!