10 great words to use instead of “busy”

Are you tired of being busy? Why not try a new word or an expression which describes your level of busyness a little more precisely. Here are some alternatives which allow you to better express exactly how busy you are and how soon you are likely to be available.  There is, after all, a world of difference between being “a little tied up” and being “completely snowed under”. 

10 alternative expressions 

1. Tied up

Example: I’m a little tied up with this new project. 
Nuance: Busy 

2. Occupied 
Example: She’s a bit occupied today dealing with new staff. 
Nuance: Busy

3. Overstretched 
Example: He’s slightly overstretched at the moment. 
Nuance: Very busy

4. Over-extended
Example: She’s quite over-extended in this particular role.
Nuance: Very busy

5. Overloaded 
Example: We’re rather overloaded with all these new cases.
Nuance: Very busy

6. Swamped 
Example: They’ve been completely swamped with new customers this week.
Nuance: Extremely busy 

7. Snowed under
Example: He’s been snowed under with complaints.
Nuance: Extremely busy 

8. To have enough/rather a lot/too much on one’s plate at the moment
Nuance: Varies according to alternative selected

9. To have other/bigger fish to fry 
Nuance: To have more important things to do

10. To have other priorities today/this week /this month
Nuance: To have more important things to do

Use qualifiers or modifiers for greater precision

The following qualifiers can be used interchangeably with expressions 1- 7 above 
• A little 
• A bit 
• Slightly 
• Quite 
• Rather 
• Completely 

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