It seems that these days, people are busier than they’ve ever been, spending more time at work, less time at home, and working through never ending to do lists. The odd thing that I’ve noticed is that most people grumble about this, but most aren’t actually doing anything about it. In fact I would say that people are almost bragging about how busy they are.
People in this situation are caught in their own little bubble. They spin around in that bubble, but they’re not really adding much value to the outside world. But the problem with a bubble is that under the strain, and in this case the strain of overwork and trying to cram more in, eventually they pop. With nothing left to show for it.
With the ever increasing use of smart phones, bring your own device to work, and remote working, we are trying to do more and more. And we are making it more and more acceptable to be working in every available opportunity. Not just work, but with the increasing availability to social media, TV, books, and games; we are filling every spare second with some form of activity. Even competing with each other as to who is busier, and who worked later etc. The question is. How much value is all of this adding to our lives?
The problem is that with this increased business, the answer that we are all turning to is to cover the symptom. This ‘cure’ is the same thing that’s fuelling the problem in the first place. More technology. More processes. Give a little more time to tasks. Outsource work. But with all this extra “efficiency”, are we really delivering more value, or just doing more stuff?
I know I’ve asked a couple of questions here. But I promise there is an answer.
Ask yourself. Do I really need to do this? Will the world end if I don’t do this? Can this wait? And most importantly… could I use this moment to just sit and have a quiet moment or think a little about life, rather than skimming through my news feed?
I’m one of the people who is non stop. I am the person who uses every technology going. And I also have an assistant. But I do try my hardest to have a cut off time for work, have times to just be quiet and think a little bit about life, and I’m trying to have periods of not being a slave to admin tasks like email etc. It’s not easy but I’m trying!
So, because it’s just turned spring over her in Australia, I have decided that I’m starting spring and doing a spring clean of my life! Similar to how great it feels to have nothing to do at the weekend, or to declutter the house. I’ve decided that I’m decluttering my life.
I want to be able to look back at my life on a week by week basis, and know that even if I’ve been working hard, that I’ve been “living” it and “enjoying” it. I want to know that my working time has figuratively added bricks to the wall of my life, not just kept the floor around the wall clean. We all do it. Keep busy, but really achieving anything. I do. But no more. And I hope you’ll join me!
So here is my quest. Become an Essentialist. Only do the things that are essential, and attempt to rid the non essential from my life.
So here are my steps for the next few months:
1. Ensure that I have time scheduled in the planner for friends, family, and most importantly THE WIFE!!
2. Minimise email. This will mean unsubscribing, checking only twice a day, and setting up more inbox rules to sort emails from known people to folders.
3. Less social media. It’s pretty easy to kill hours scrolling through the old news feed. I’ll obviously still do it. But just try and not reach for my phone every time I have 20 seconds to spare.
4. Slimming down the to-do list. This will be knocking one or two things off a day, and actually just removing things that are really not important.
5. Say no to more business stuff. Say yes to more things that I know make me “happy”.
6. Spend some time silent and alone. There is only one way to switch the brain off. Give it as little stimuli as possible. So I will schedule in some time to do things that I find relaxing and not brain stimulating. Whether it be yoga, a run, a bath, doing the garden, going for a bike ride, or meditation. I’ll do one of these things that makes me feel “free”, and I’ll do it without music, my phone, or a book. It amazing how great this always makes me feel!
7. And most importantly!! Identify the important things, and do them first!! Make a list on a daily basis of the important things to do that will either A: Stop the world from exploding, or B: Add the most value to my business. I will then do whatever I feel is an acceptable amount, so that I can be happy with what I’ve achieved today, and do nothing else if I wish. Everything else will be a bonus. So if it’s lay 20 bricks, I’ll lay 20 bricks, then only after that will I sweep the floor. If the sweeping has to wait a few days, I’ve already decided the world won’t end if I don’t do it… So maybe I’ll just let it get dirty… Who knows it may help me to decided that I just don’t need to do that task anymore, and I’ll declutter my life.
If you like this, you may also like my post on Tracking Your Time
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We can’t solve the problem of today by using the same thinking as when we created them – Albert Einstein
If you can dream it you can do it – Walt Disney
Life begins at the end of your comfort zone – Neale Donald Walsch
Never, Never, Never Give Up! – Winston Churchill