|Image provided by Flicker - Rory Finneran (Cropped by me to fit)|
At the beginning of January I wrote a post called Unbusy Your Life Its been VERY difficult, learning to let go, and do less, if you're a life squeezer who crams the maximum into every day it doesn't come easy to change to a slower pace. January and February are supposed to be quiet, January wasn't, and February isn't, but I've challenged myself to slow down.
We all need to stop our to-do lists from building up and overwhelming us, it's taking me a lot longer than I expected to clear my schedule, and my mind. I've made an appointment with myself each day to do nothing! I call it taking a slow hour, when I switch off the phone, the laptop, and the TV, and I kill all thoughts of what 'needs' to be done. I do whatever I want to do instead, write, read or listening to music have topped the bill so far. It doesn't come easy, if you're driven, and used to rushing around at 100 mph every day, but I'd encourage everyone to try it, and while you're at it, do a life edit, the sooner the better, because its definitely worth doing.
Look at what you do in a typical week, I was moving through days on autopilot, working, cooking, cleaning, ferrying teenagers around, shopping, internet surfing, snatching writing time here and there. It was exhausting, both physically and mentally. I wrote everything down for a week, it was a long list, a shockingly long list, no wonder I'm jaded and worn out, frankly I'm not surprised my writing has suffered.
At last I saw where my time was going. Was what I was doing really important? Did it make me happy? What tasks could I remove, or renegotiate?
Getting more sleep is a priority, I've been going to bed an hour earlier five nights a week, and set my alarm to wake me thirty minutes later on a work day. There are consequences, I don't have as much time, I'm sleeping for an extra seven and a half hours a week. Not to mention the 'slow hour' I'm taking daily. Some tasks I have simply removed, but others have had to remain as fixtures, Some things I dropped - I got wrong, they have rose to the surface, they're back on the list, I've had to delegate them, and ask other members of the household to pitch in and do their share, and its making things easier.
I do more prioritising, assessing each task, and I delegate whenever I can, everyone has to pitch in now. I've made it clear I can't keep all the balls in the air any more. I want to enjoy my free space, and get back to my writing properly. Its working slowly, I now have two dedicated writing sessions, and I'm planning to add at least another this week.
I'm still clearing clutter around the home, and have adopted a new life rule. If something new comes into the home, something has to go, it doesn't feel like I'm making a dent in it yet, its a slow process, I do fifteen minutes every other day. Just clearing the backlog of old writing magazine is time consuming enough, not to mention the mountain of books! I'm aiming for a clear writing room. Its a way off, but I've started the journey.
Slowly I'm bringing a little balance to my life again, and cranking up the happiness by learning to do less.
What about you? Do you need to do a life edit? Perhaps you have tips and ideas you can share?
Have a good week.