As new parents, my wife and I had the less-than-joyful experience of shopping for day care this year. One day care director we interviewed kept stressing how difficult it can be to get in touch with her. She was just so busy.

Needless to say, we passed.

If you provide any form of client services, please don’t tell your clients that you’re busy. If you do, and your clients are like me, what they’ll hear is “I’m spread too thin, and my priorities are unclear.”

We’re all busy. No one wants to hear that you’re busy, too.

Think about it. Suppose one day I wrote “I didn’t publish anything today because I’ve been really busy.” Would you be impressed? Would you even care? Does knowing that I'm "busy" help you in anyway? I'm guessing no, no, and no, (dis)respectively.

You’re much better off assuming that no one cares that all of your spent energy can be wrapped up inside a generic four-letter word.

Your family, friends, and clients would rather evaluate your actions, and they would rather hear your forward-looking priorities, not your hindsight abstractions. And they especially need to see and hear that they’re near the top of your priority stack. So: Know your priorities, accept your priorities, and articulate those priorities in specific terms to people you care about.