Time to relax
In the lead up to Christmas of 2015 I had a realisation; I was rushing everywhere. Sophia was six months old, we were at the tail end of a renovation project, and I was about a year into my business. I had consciously chosen a life of excess and so I rushed, I even rushed when I wasn't late. There was something about seeing all the frantic people in the supermarket rushing to get ready for Christmas (which is supposed to be fun) that just made me want to laugh out loud and then cry in a crumpled heap on the floor, because it made me realise how much of my life I rushed through.
That day changed things for me. I opened my eyes to what happened when I rushed; I felt stressed, I was tired and as Sophia became a toddler it was increasingly likely that she would have a meltdown if we were rushing. This habit was doing me no favours.
The main cause of my rushing was massive overcommitment and chronic over scheduling. I was filling time, all the time, taking on projects with little thought about whether they were valuable to me or whether I had time for them. I'd had a baby but hadn't really registered the fact that this meant I didn't have the same amount of time as I'd had before. Kids or no kids this isn't really about what your circumstances are, so much as whether you are taking them in to account when allocating your time.
I have come to wholeheartedly subscribe to the belief 'how we spend our days is, in fact, how we spend our lives' and I have literally zero intention of spending my life rushing or doing loads of things I don't want to do.
We've been immersed in a culture of hourly time slots (something I totally banished in The Essential Planner). Hourly time slots suggest they all need to be filled, back to back, with no transfer time or breathing room. No time to just be. This does not make us more effective, it makes us more overwhelmed and probably achieve less in the long run. More than anything it results in us having less fun, joy and contentment.
I'm currently creating a whole series of tools to help in a practical way with 'decluttering your time' so to speak, but if you want to start moving away from busy, towards a more spacious lifestyle my first suggestion would be to look at the day, week and month ahead. Is there enough blank space, or do you feel overwhelmed just looking at everything you've got on? Sit down and get real with yourself about what you actually want to do and only do that. Every time you consider adding a new to do or appointment, ask yourself is there space?
Space to do as you please or just do nothing is a gift to yourself, an important part of living a life that looks meaningful to you and I promise the more you do it, the more you'll want to.
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