Busy Shmizzy, 5 Steps to Reduce the Rush
Everyone’s got the same 24 hours; it’s how you fill those hours that counts.
- Do you race around all day feeling busy and frazzled?
- More importantly, do you use that as an excuse to not really LIVE your life??
- Are you too busy being busy to have fun and live an adventure?
- Are your days exciting, or are you racing around trying to ‘get things done’ so you can live later?
Now that I’m working for myself from home I still sometimes fall into the trap of feeling like I NEED to sit at the desk for 8 hours to get enough done, and if I’m not careful with prioritising and being strict with time-wasting activities (hello Facebook…) then I can start to feel a bit overrun. But I took this step because I want to be one of those people who can spend summer afternoons at the beach, calmly basking in the sun while I read a book*.
Which means I can’t be busy.
Live a full life, yes, but the difference between having a full life and just being busy is that the busy people are frantic, and aren’t enjoying the fullness.
So here are five steps to take to reduce the rush:
Say No to make some space.
Decide your own priorities, and don’t spend your life living according to someone else’s rules and desires. It’s ok to say no. If you’re not good at declining, be prepared in advance with your response. Don’t make excuses or provide reasons, just politely say no.
(This is one of the tips in my free Ebook: 7 Ways to Up the Fun, Happiness and Adventure in Your Life so if you haven’t already signed up for my mailing list to receive the book, you can grab your copy over on the right hand side of the page)
Take that first step towards change.
If you want to be able to get to yoga at 5pm, just get up, walk out of the office, and go to yoga. Most of the time the biggest resistance to changing the way we live our lives is ourselves. Don’t ask permission (forgiveness is always easier to receive anyway). Just create that first step towards change so your life is your life. One little change can start an avalanche if you let it.
Work out what your dreams are.
Your life is your choice, and if you don’t shape it and decide how you want to live then it will just happen ‘to’ you. I know I don’t want to look back in 50 years and think ‘none of that was my doing’. I had a massive freak out when I got pregnant, and part of it was that I realised that I didn’t feel like I’d been directing my own life the last few years. It’s not as though someone was bossing me around, but I also didn’t feel like I’d made enough active choices to send my life where I want it to go.
It’s your life, choose how you want to live it.
If you don’t choose yourself, then other peoples’ priorities will end up determining how you spend your one life.
Let go of Brand Busy.
We can all get caught up in thinking that busy equals important. I can remember at my first grad job (which I hated) we had these weekly 4pm meetings. Right at 355 everyone in the office was ssssoooooo busy that they couldn’t arrive to the meeting on time. What??? These same people had time earlier to make a coffee, have a chat, check their hotmail… But everyone wanted to look busy and important. So recognise that maybe being busy makes you feel important, and let that go. Take control of your days and fill them up, but purposefully. Let go of being busy.
Focus on the flow.
You know that feeling when you’re doing something with your complete attention, you feel crazily productive and you lose track of time because you’re so engaged? That’s flow. That’s the aim. I’m more likely to get in the flow when I use the pomodoro technique and I heard an amazing story about Ray Bradbury writing Fahrenheit 451 using an enforced version of pomodoro. I also find the flow when I’m doing things I love and am fully focused on them:
Yoga (if I really focus on breathing and not on progress through the moves), horse riding (if I am relaxed and patient then I can ride for an hour without even noticing the time go by), reading (I can get lost in novels for hours when they’re beautifully written), writing (when I sit down and am on the right path then the words come easily), building excel models (yep, geek it up, but I actually get great satisfaction from financial modelling, part of my career of yesteryear, and still enjoy helping people build budgeting models for their businesses).
People who are Busy don’t get in the flow, as they’re constantly thinking about the To Do list, and the next task, and can’t slow down for long enough to focus on the one task at hand.
So banish the busy, and foster the flow so that you can live a full life.
Are you ready to banish busy? Hop over to pick up a copy of my free book The Everyday Adventure – 7 Ways to Inspire a Life Filled With Fun, Happiness and Adventure. Now go have some fun!
*For you this might be making it to morning yoga class every day, or having one of those Instagram accounts that makes your friends want to be involved in your exciting life, or have time for a morning coffee in a cafe with a friend every day, or be one of those people who always seems to be able to take time off for a long weekend when the weather’s nice…
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