Does it seem like your life is getting busier and busier?
Like you don’t have any time for anything anymore?
You look up and another year has passed or another birthday has come and gone and you ask yourself where the time has gone? I think we all have caught ourselves in this accelerated state where the days seem to be all connected. I believe it stems from our need to fill every moment and this has permeated our modern lifestyles.
We all try to cram as many things as we can in one day.
As a society, we have glorified multi-tasking. We have been taught that success means having 100 things to do each day and that every moment should be filled with being “productive”. We are all faced with information overload between our computers and our phones. It’s a constant bombardment of “do-do-do” and before you know it, another day has passed. When you string together days and weeks and months of living this way, the time has a way of going by without us realizing it.
So what can you do?
There are many small steps you can begin to take to start experiencing your time differently. First thing is to assess how much sleep you are getting. Are you getting a good night’s rest? Do you feel well rested when you wake up? Your body needs at least 5 hours of sleep and optimally 8 hours to rejuvenate you and prepare you for the next day.
As we are winding down this year, it’s a perfect time to assess how much sleep you really are getting and make it a priority to get better rest. Let’s further evaluate how your lifestyle is supporting you.
Let’s take an honest look…
- Are you being productive (or just busy)?
- Do you have meaning in your life?
- Are you trying to fill every moment in your life to avoid something?
- Are you using “busy” to create a distraction from the important issues you could be addressing?
Sometimes we realize that we are living our lives like a hamster on a wheel. We’re going and going and doing and doing but not really going anywhere. Living this way can cause a lot of unnecessary stress in our lives.
Pay attention to how you spend the “in-between” moments in your life.
Do you find that when you have a down moment, you’re still frantically checking your phone? Are you anxiously checking your emails?
If you can bring some awareness to cultivate the habit of spending these moments by consciously relaxing and just breathing, it can bring down your anxiety and stress levels dramatically.
Another easy stress-reliever is to take 5 minutes and write down the main things you want to accomplish that day. I personally prefer to do this the night before…right before I go to sleep because it helps me rest and relax knowing that I’ve already acknowledged what needs to be done the following day.
Break it down and then prioritize what needs to happen.
- What are my goals?
- What exactly is my intention?
- What do I want to do?
If you do this before bed, you’ll find that you rest easier. Otherwise you’re left tossing and turning, remaining awake with those constant thoughts and reminders of what needs to be taken care of the next day.
Unnecessary noise is another ‘distractor’ that we tend to fill the quiet moments with, maybe a television for just background noise or distraction of our thoughts. Or listening to a podcast or audio book while we multitask to be as efficient as possible.
There is nothing wrong about combining tasks, but if we do this too often we are not really practicing being in the moment and experiencing what the moment has to offer and we end up losing our focus and concentration. We try to do 10 things at once and end up not getting anything done at the end of the day. When we spread our energy too thin, important details slip through the cracks. By paying full attention to the task at hand, you’re giving it the attention it deserves and your results will show it.
This concept applies to both your business life and your personal life. From your job performance to your relationships with your friends and family, being present trumps everything. It is the ultimate strategy for true long-term success.
When you’re fully present and honoring the task at hand with the attention it deserves, you’ll find that you can accomplish a lot more without the frenzied energy of stress and anxiety.
Even when doing mundane chores like washing dishes or folding laundry, being present can bring focus and calmness to your mind and body. It can be a meditative experience instead of a stressful “chore”. By trying to multitask or doing too many things at once, you’re taking away that effect.
Speaking of meditation, a lot of people struggle with meditation.
They struggle with slowing the mind down and being aware and present. Instead, they are mentally making lists of the things they could be doing instead or what they plan to do when the “chore” of meditation is finished.
It’s a common misconception that meditation is about silencing the mind. But it’s not. Meditation is about focusing your attention and concentrating on a point. It’s about training your brain to focus and not wander.
This can be done with stillness and quiet meditation but there are many forms of meditation to choose from. If you’re interested in learning about different types of meditation and which ones might be a good fit for you, email me and I would be happy to recommend the type of meditation best suited for your personality and lifestyle.
For example, Movement meditation is a type of meditation that can bring focus and calmness to your mind. Using movement and meditation together allows your body to move while you invite tranquility into your headspace. I have conducted classes and workshops on movement meditation to really ‘busy’ people and it has been great to see their tensions just melt away.
Meditation, in any form, nurtures your ability to be present with people.
It also increases your clarity which is key to success on all levels. A simple, easy meditation to add to your daily life only takes one minute and the effects can be felt immediately. It’s shocking how many people don’t take one minute out of their day, just for themselves. By honoring yourself with this one minute, you’re allowing your mind to relax and regain focus which brings you more productivity through the rest of your day.
ONE MINUTE MEDITATION
To do this, start with a nice, long deep breath to clear your energy.
Take another deep breath and hold it in for the count of 4.
Then release it slowly for another count of 4.
Do this several times over the course of one minute and then continue about your day. This quick meditation can be done while sitting in traffic, while you’re in the shower, in between meetings or any time you have a spare minute. Try doing this the next time you have a down moment instead of checking your phone or email and see how that affects the rest of your day.
Consciousness and awareness combined with intentional breathing helps us focus and get clarity. And it only takes a minute!
You can do this several times a day. If you only do it once or twice a day, it’s a start.
You’re one step closer to inviting more peace and stillness into your life instead of running frantically like a hamster on a wheel.
As busy professionals, we often get so caught up in the daily routines that we end up developing stress-related problems like anxiety and depression. We overlook our mental and physical health because there’s always another deadline looming over us or another errand waiting to be completed one after another.
Try to take a breather in between tasks so that your mind takes a break too. But if you’re in the middle of something, take sixty seconds to inhale and exhale deeply to get rid of negative thoughts or feelings.
You can even do it standing up!
Just focus on your thoughts and take some time to collect yourself. whatever your reasons for being busy are whether your job is taking up too much time or you’re busy with your personal life, you need to make time for yourself. The same goes for everyone. Stress is real and universal try avoiding straining your body and mind with it and remember to breathe.
People might think it’s impossible to find self-care time in their busy schedule but here are some tips that can help you squeeze in a little relaxation into your day:
- Phone a friend.
- Have a picnic.
- Give yourself a sleep edge.
- Get out in nature.
- Write a to-do list.
Whatever your schedule may look like try to take some time to relax and enjoy yourself. If you take some time for yourself, your body and mind will thank you later. The art of relaxation isn’t something that comes easy to busy people but it is possible. Give yourself a little less than what you think you need and work up to the amount of time you want to spend relaxing each day