This week, I announced my word of the year. And it’s not a word at all.

It’s a hashtag.



Here’s the deal:

I’m a digital gal. I live in a digital world, and walk in a world wide open to the interwebs. I instagram stalk people I barely know to my heart’s content. I live-tweeted my daughter’s birth. I know these things about me, and so choosing a hashtag instead of a brick-and-mortar WORD is perhaps a way to embrace that. At least that’s what I’ll tell myself. Because it certainly sounds like a much better explanation than the fact that without a hashtag I could not reliably mash the two words BAN and BUSY together in such tidy fashion.

I debuted this word in a Mashable article in December, and a few folks picked up on it. (One even sent me a #banbusy necklace!)

Twitter’s @Claire tweeted her labor! Yet, she still tracks time she spends online and made #BanBusy her 2015 mantra

— Arianna Huffington (@ariannahuff) December 5, 2014

But enough about my free jewelry.

As I said, every year I do a few things at the end of one year and the start of the new one. I review the year behind me. I set annual goals for the year ahead. And I choose a word of the year. (For more on why you need one, see this post explaining the concept.)

This year, I’m hopeful that my hashtag of the year will help me slow down, unplug, and work smart the whole year long. But I know it won’t happen just because someone bought me a necklace. I’m going to have to work at it. And I will. Here are some of the key things I’ll be doing to make #BanBusy work for me.

1. I will track my time on the computer with RescueTime

This has been one of my favorite discoveries of the last few months. RescueTime is a program that tracks all the time you spend on the computer. In the PRO version (which I have, it only costs about $5 a month and has recently been on sale), it will prompt you if you want to log time you spent off your computer as well. It’s a really great way to track your work-life, and I can’t recommend it highly enough. (And if you’re really lucky and mildly insane, your BFF will give you her log in so you can see how she spends her time. But enough about me.) Even just trying their free version for a month will be a great eyeopener for you. One of the big things you’ll learn? You likely spend 20 hours a week (or 40% of your work hours) on email. #eek

2. I will track my iphone time with Moment

This is a great new app (and being able to download it was the big reason I got off the couch to get the new iphone!) that tracks how much time you spend on your iphone each day. It doesn’t break it down into categories like RescueTime, but it’s the best thing you can find for tracking on an iphone currently. I’m really hopeful RescueTime will come out with an app soon. The one drag is that Moment doesn’t track in airplane/wifi mode. Boo!

3. I Will Remember My Annual Goals:

One of my key goals this year is to read 150 books (see some of my other 2015 goals here). Now, to most people wanting to not be busy, that sounds like a bad idea. Not for me. Reading is my escape, and setting a goal around my reading means that I will prioritize it. Reading relaxes me like no other, so reading, for me, is the definition of #banbusy. (If you’re interested, here’s how I find time to read so much.)

4. I will Use as a Daily Reminder to Hit My Daily Goals:   

This app, which used to be called Lift, is a great way to track what goals you’re hitting on a daily basis. So these aren’t goals like “go on two solo vacations sans bebe with your husband in 2015”, but rather “get a massage once a week” or “eat fish at least 4 times a week”. More regular stuff. I have a few set up on mine: eating Paleo, that fish thing, meditating, doing my morning routine (I call it The Present Principle), and running. Every time you do one of those things, you check it off. You can also see who else in the world hit the same goal that day as well.

I know with my hectic life it’s not going to be a snap to #BanBusy, but I am hopeful that these keys will help me get there. I’m pumped, and that’s how January should start, right?

What do you have planned for 2015? How will you try to make those plans a reality?



(A version of this post also appeared on Medium.)

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