How often do you hear, feel or say .. “I’m so busy” or “I don’t have the time?”
Being always busy ‐ constantly occupied ‐ has become the norm. Sadly, many of us don’t even know what to do with ourselves when we do have down time! Be honest, in the spare moments you do have, do you reach for your phone & begin aimlessly scrolling?
It’s almost as if we’ve evolved to believe we need constant stimulation .. where actually, the complete opposite is true.
When we allow technology to eat up our attention, it’s eating up our life.
Being busy can be fun & is necessary at times but, working flat out for extended periods is seriously damaging to our health, productivity & creativity.
So what can we do to change?
Simple .. SLOW DOWN.
Whenever I feel overwhelmed (or I’ve over committed myself) I audit my life. I take 30 minutes to prioritise what’s really important to me that very day/week. This is how ….
- I cancel (or reschedule) appointments that aren’t immediately necessary.
- I reschedule (or drop) projects that I ambitiously thought I could/should do
- I contact the people who can help progress the projects that are still on my audited list and ask them (in a nice way!) to forward the information I need to help me towards completing those projects.
Just doing these three simple things instantly makes me feel lighter, re focused & re energised.
By eliminating the non important things from your life they simply no longer have a claim on your attention or time.
Gaining time generates a greater sense of well being. When the pressure is off ‐ when we give ourselves time between tasks ‐ we actually become more productive & creative. Simply by slowing down, our brains are given a chance to ‘work through’ issues that have been put on the ‘back burner’ whilst we’ve been too busy to give them attention. Surprisingly, when our brains are given a chance to slow down, insights, ideas & breakthroughs suddenly come to mind.
“Everything changed the day she figured out there was exactly enough time for the important things in her life”. Brian Andreas.
The other ‘trick’ I’ve found works really well for me when I feel overwhelmed is to have a positive morning routine:
- on waking I do yoga for 20 mins to open & stretch my body
- then I read something inspiring & uplifting .. it might be a short prose from Rumi, the Dalai Lama or even a passage from a favourite book. This helps me feel uplifted at the start of the day
- then I look at what is planned for the day & ask myself; “what do I need out of this activity?”, “how is it going to help me towards a bigger goal?” and, “how can I do this activity so well that I exceed someone’s expectations?”.
OK, so maybe the last action sounds a little ‘corny’ but it works for me as it prevents me from just going through the motions, going through my to do list on auto pilot … and besides, I get a little buzz when I get positive feedback so it’s a win win!
If this post has struck a cord with you we hope our suggested life audit helps you take a step towards feeling less overwhelmed. And, if you’ve time, we highly recommend reading Bored & Brilliant : How time spent doing nothing changes everything and, Thrive : Redefining Success & Creating a Happier Life.