Stepping Back From Time Crunch

stopwatchFor much of my adult life, I have been wrestling with Time. I tried working harder, stretching myself to do more, and multi-tasking my butt off to try to get ahead. But I just never seemed to make any headway.

It took a long time, but I finally realized pushing harder doesn’t work. What was needed, was a shift.

So, I altered my point of view from seeing myself jumping on the hamster wheel and feeling like I’m constantly chasing the clock to thinking of time as spacious.

I suspect that we as a society can wear “busy” like a badge of honor. If we are busy, we get strokes to our ego. We look important, competent, like a good person. And that can feel really good! But, it is a double-edged sword. Being busy means we are probably not taking time for self-care, we may not being doing our best job on any one thing, plus it really ramps up our blood pressure and stress hormones.

So I stopped buying into the attitude that “busy” is the norm.

I shifted my perspective from “I’m busy” to “I have all the time in the world.” It’s amazing how pivoting my point of view changed everything. Even if I’m in a situation where it could feel like the clock is “against” me, it’s like time stands still.

The parameters I put in place to live this out include some tools.

When time gets tight, I do things like take a deep breath and pause before I move forward on anything. This allows my frontal lobe to engage more so I’m more present and better able to respond from my best self.

Then, I make a list. Somehow, capturing what needs to be done on paper puts everything into perspective and I’m able to make a plan.

And, here’s a biggie, I also just say no to more things and have less on my schedule. I try to remember that my time is precious and I can’t get it back.

I realized that what I do should be important, even if it’s doing what looks like nothing. This allows for space and time to create, and it respects me and my real needs or the needs of those I love. I’m not just rushing on, ignoring my truth. This feels real and respectful and is a joyful place to be living from.

The bottom line is, when an opportunity presents itself, I ask myself if this moves forward what is important. Sometimes going out with friends is the perfect thing to do, and at other times, I’ve realized I need to say no. Feeling like I don’t have to agree to do everything is incredibly freeing.

Part of this scheduling less is tied to not feeling bad about saying no. I’m taking care of myself, and when I do that, my life is richer, more peaceful, and more enjoyable.

It took me some time to really integrate this, and there are times when I rush, but overall, the tempo of my life is much more peaceful.

So what comes up when you ask yourself, what more could I do with my one precious life? What if I wasn’t filling my schedule with an endless list of tasks and to-dos? What if I focused on what was really important in my life?

Here’s to more joy and less stress! Enjoy!

Photo and content © Copyright 2018. Blessed Journey Blog. All Rights Reserved.
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One Thing At A Time

ant

“Just focus on one thing at a time. The data clearly shows that we can’t multitask and do things well. Just do one thing and do it well.”

Lordy, I’ve been telling my clients this for years. Heck, I’ve been telling myself this for years! And it is such strong, beneficial advice. And it’s true that we can’t multitask without losing like 37% of our brain’s bandwidth! (According to the American Psychological Association) No wonder we feel scattered!

But how do we do this?

I recently had those tiny little ants crop up in my house. Again.

This is not the first time they have appeared, so I wondered to myself, what is the Universe trying to get me to pay attention to? What do ants make me think of?

Well, they are busy. They are super busy, but each one has one duty and that’s why they are so effective! For instance, the queen does one thing: lay eggs. That’s it. She is not foraging for food or anything else. The survival of the colony depends on her doing her one thing.

But, as a human, I often struggle with the how. How do I tend to the different aspects of life that I want to nourish?

There’s the physical part: Am I getting my walk or hike in today? Do I have healthy, yummy food in the house to eat? Have I gone food shopping for that food?

There’s the spiritual aspect: Am I meditating? Am I feeding and being fed by my spiritual community? Am I going to Meetng? Am I involved in the life of the Meeting?

There’s the social part: Am I tending to my friendships that feed me? Am I involved in the life of my community and building it?

You get the point. There are so many facets to a healthy life that need tending. How does one balance them all? If one is out of whack, they all are. If I am working out like crazy and eating great food, but I am not in a job where I feel valued, that is going to affect me in all the other areas.

So how do we balance it all out?

I am no expert, but I suspect at least part of the answer is time, space, and presence.

To not fill my schedule so full that I am constantly chasing time, so there is space in my calendar to just be and to allow myself to hear that still, small voice from within that is always guiding me. And, in doing one thing at a time, I can be fully present to it and do that one thing well.

Thank you little ants, for the reminder that a mountain can only be climbed one step at a time. And, the call to relish that step, and the next one, and the next is what life is about.

Photo and content © Copyright 2018. Blessed Journey Blog. All Rights Reserved.