10 Ways to Say I Am Busy in English

Since most of us are usually busy every day, it is common practice to use expressions related to unavailability in our daily conversations. Knowing different ways of saying “I am busy” would be a sign of your competence in English conversations especially when you are talking with native speakers.


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Ten Ways to Express Unavailability in English

The phrases covered in this article are known as English idioms and used by native speakers on a daily basis. Thus, let’s dig into these Ten phrases and see what they are and how we can use them:


1. I’m Juggling A Lot Right Now.

This expression refers to handling multiple tasks, commitments, and responsibilities simultaneously, similar to juggling multiple balls in the air.


2. I’m Slammed / I’m Swamped.

These informal phrases convey that you are hit hard with a large amount of work or a considerable number of tasks.


3. I’m Overwhelmed / Overloaded.

“Overloaded” implies bearing too many heavy tasks, while “overwhelmed” carries an emotional connotation, suggesting that you are feeling stressed and troubled by the workload.


4. I’m Stretched Too Thin.

This phrase conveys attempting to cover a lot of areas simultaneously, which is nearly impossible. It is like having hands in multiple things at once.


5. I’m Up To My Ears/Eyeballs In Work.

This paints a vivid picture of papers and things piling up, to the extent that it seems to reach up to your ears or eyes. It implies that you are currently overloaded with work.


6. I’ve Got A Lot On My Plate / Too Much On My Plate.

These expressions liken your life or schedule to a limited space, emphasizing that you have too many responsibilities or tasks for the available time.


7. My Agenda/Schedule Is Packed.

Both phrases mean your schedule or calendar is full and you have no availability for accepting new appointments.


8. I Can’t Take On Anything Else.

When your schedule is already full and someone asks you to do extra work, this response conveys your inability to accept additional tasks or commitments.


9. I’m Behind On My Work.

This means you’re completing tasks later than expected and may need to work faster or put in extra time to catch up. In other words, it says that you are getting behind the schedule or deadline.


10. Things Are Really Hectic Right Now.

The word Hectic means busy in a chaotic, disorganized manner, often with stress. In short, this phrase means that you are very occupied at the moment or your current workload is hectic.



Now that you learn ten different ways to express your busyness, try to use them in your next conversation if possible. As always, remember that there are two remedies for overcoming busyness: time management and task prioritization. Indeed, by just applying these two simple remedies, you can reduce your stress while making less use of the above ten phrases (ironically).


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