For the next two weeks, I will be removing the word ‘busy’ from my vocabulary and looking to instead really optimise how I spend my time, and what tasks I am prioritisings.
Being busy, and leading a hectic life that is filled to the brim, has become the new normal. Our society seems to measure people more and more on their productivity and output. We are expected to manage hundreds of emails, whilst making time to exercise, pampering and pruning ourselves and yet still preparing for several meetings a day, and then be sociable in the evenings, oh and don’t forget you need to tweet all about this throughout the day so everyone is aware of how much you are really doing. Even typing all of that was exhausting.
The below are small extracts from a post I wrote almost seven months ago, and in it I made some commitments.
That I would review my priorities
In the post, I looked at what mattered most to me in life. For me, this was first and foremost spending quality time with my husband, family and friends. It also included:
- Buying less, experiencing more.
- Putting my health first.
- Seeing more of the world.
- Helping and supporting people who may not have a voice or chance to help themselves.
I now only take on tasks and projects that I personally feel invested in and that I can give 100% to. I might be doing less overall, but what I am producing is of a much higher quality and I feel excited to be working on it, rather than dreading the tasks and hours ahead.
I know that within the workplace it is hard to often choose what you want to focus your attention on, but you can prioritise what is important to you and your role.
I would live with less
Do you ever find yourself wondering why you are so busy and how all the hours in a day just seem to disappear? I used to be exactly the same, and then I actually started to document what I did on a daily basis and the time it took.
I used to waste so much time sorting out ‘stuff’ like old towels and bedding. I used to spend at least two to three hours an evening watching television that I wasn’t even that interested in, and that meant at least twenty minutes aimlessly scrolling through Netflix first to find something. Even worse, I had a lot more stuff, so that meant a lot more cleaning.
I would focus on less but produce ‘more’
It is a very simple concept. I would only do things each day that matter, and I gave them my full and undivided attention.
This means I produce things with more.
More meaning, more impact and more important to me.
Ticking off the bucket list, today
I don’t want to have spent my life wishing I had done more that mattered to me, so I stopped spending money and time (I was always too busy to be doing these dream things) on materialistic gains (bigger house, newer car, designer dresses) and started to spend it on experiences I would remember and cherish.
I have ticked more off my bucket list in the last twelve months than I did in four years. And it feels great.
Write down 10 things you want to achieve, and start doing them. Today.
Taking time for myself
I used to feel bad if I declined an invitation because I actually wanted some ‘me’ time. It was hard for me to just take five hours out of a day to do something totally selfish which would let me relax and retreat from the hectic lifestyle that is so normal these days.
These days I listen a lot more to my body and my mind. If I am feeling tired or a little overwhelmed I dedicate some time to do something I know will relax me. Whether this is reading, lighting a candle and listening to music, going on a long walk or taking a weekend away and turning off my phone.
Find time for you today, and embrace a calmer and less busy life. It is your choice. Say goodbye to the busy lifestyle today, and say hello to lovely selfish you time.
Realising that overall, being busy is a choice, not a requirement
That last sentence really leads me on to my final step for simplifying your life. You can choose whether you want a busy life or not, and you know what, it is totally okay to not want to be busy.
Tomorrow – Yoga or meditating