Ever get told you’re trying to ‘do’ too much? This is a common complaint from mothers, pals, and partners alike. It’s likely that constant connectivity and priding ourselves on being up there with Beyonce in the multi-tasking stakes, are partially to blame. The glorification of ‘busy’ has become a driving force in many a 30-something’s life. Inevitably, during our precious down time, self-prescribed ‘lazy’ taunts ensue, making sure we never quite feel like we’re ‘doing’ enough.
If you sit on the couch watching TV while working on your laptop, periodically checking or responding to your phone, eating dinner and monitoring a load of washing from your cushioned throne – you know what I’m talking about. We’re not alone. A client recently told me she can’t bear having a spare night on her calendar, so she promptly fills it with something before said empty evening rolls around.
We’re all guilty of the same, but also know all too well the feeling of dread when you’ve over-committed and are desperate for a night in – without one in sight. The only thing worse is the guilt if you cancel (in which case you’d better do 45 things at home to punish yourself for not going…) OR the feet draggery to get yourself to the restaurant/bar/pole dancing class – or whatever it is you enthusiastically signed up for previously.
However here’s the flip side – if I’m honest, I’m genuinely crap at getting through my ‘to-do’s’. Many tasks have been written on lists so many times I could’ve done the task itself 10 times over in the same amount of time. So I’m trying to do too much whilst seemingly feeling like I’m getting nothing done? Lord help me.
Perhaps it’s time for a DO-tox – a decluttering of do’s to create more time for yourself and more space in your brain for learning, creativity and reflection. Here are some ideas…
- Dedicate one night a week to NOTHING. Don’t work, no one’s invited over. Run a bath, watch TV or read a book, and put your phone (and laptop) away.
- Work stuff aside, prioritise your to-do’s and number the most important ones 1-3 – then just aim to get through those today. Dedicate some time each day to your to-do’s so the list doesn’t get out of control, even if it’s 10 minutes on your lunch break. Ticking boxes is addictive so if you whip through your 3 – keep the party going.
- If you’ve listed it 3 times or more, you’ve just gotta get it done. Make a life admin day once a month where you get all that annoying sh*t done and then take yourself out for a cocktail, lunch, dinner or a pamper sesh afterwards to reward yourself.
- If your waking thoughts are around everythingyouhavetodotodaystartingrightnow – spend 5 minutes meditating on trying to bring a positive intention to your day and allow the ‘I have to…’ thoughts to come and go. It’ll make more room in that brain for later and help you tackle whatever comes your way.
- Say NO. If it doesn’t suit, or it feels like you’re doing too much – just say so. No one decent will ever hate on you for saying you’re exhausted and postponing to another time.