Are you Addicted to being busy?
Last week I started talking about how to stay in your peaceful living frame-of-mind when it seems like your world is full of stress and negativity. Last week’s blog, the first in Finding Cherries series discussed how to use boundaries and mindful communication to bring more peace to any friendship you have with people who are negative. This week, I am talking about how to use boundaries and prioritization to bring more peace into your busy life.
That Stressful Life
Life gets so hectic sometimes – The joy in life can be severely dampened by an overwhelming sense of being busy: too many things to get done, too many people making demands, too much traffic on the road, etc. I know from experience that there are some strategies that help.
Here are a few to try:
1. Take a moment to step back and look at your to-do list.
Decide if the things on the list really need to get done right now or if they even need to be done at all. Some of this will be prioritizing based upon your values. For example, I have contact with more friends now than ever before – thank you Facebook!
Let’s take holiday cards for example. I get fewer holiday cards than I did in the past. And truthfully, I just don’t send them out either. I stay in touch on a more regular basis AND I just don’t have time to get cards out around the holidays because there are other things I have to do, like the Winter Spectacular at my kids’ school and two Brownie Christmas parties, etc.
2. Prioritize your to-do list and only actually do those things that you must.
Go to work, feed the kids, take care of yourself!… or that have true meaning to you. If you hate to shop, shop online and do grocery pick-up. If you love going out with your friends, go to one or more outings each month.
Everything else, say goodbye to it. You don’t need to do it all! And don’t forget, your kids will be just fine if you miss a game or a dance practice once-a-month to spend time with your friends! And so will your husband! 🙂
3. Stay in the moment.
As Thich Nhat Hanh says, “happiness can be found in every moment.” With this in mind, if you can stay focused on exactly what you’re doing, when you’re doing it, you find that the stress of “everything else” falls away.
So while you’re at the Cub Scout campout, be there and enjoy the fun the kids are having. Don’t worry about what you’re going to serve for your family for dinner for the next week.
4. Plan Ahead
One thing I’ve found that helps me to stay in the moment is to plan ahead. I use a “success schedule” to keep myself aware not only of what I need to do, but also when I need to do it.
A weekly plan with blocked periods of time truly helps me make sure that I get where I need to get when I need to get there, that I work on the things I need to work on when it’s time to work on them, that I have time with my family and that I have time for myself. The “success schedule” allows me to savor each moment as I’m in it.
5. Find the blessings in the little things.
I was talking to my friend and client one day about Christmas and how her kids don’t act very grateful during the holiday season. But then she told me a story about how one of her sons is required by his school to write in a journal to his parents every week. At one point he wrote to his mom about how he does really understand that the season is not just about getting presents. He talked about how he loves Christmas because he gets to be with family and that he understands the religious parts of the holiday as well. What really touched me was that he wrote this journal entry as a letter to his mom so that she can understand how he is feeling inside. She said that he would never have said those things out loud to her.
What a true blessing that journal entry was! Find the little things that make life special. Try to catch people doing the right thing! And, pay special attention to it when they do.
Do you need to slow down and enjoy life a little more?
What do you need to cut out that is not serving your peaceful living?
Stay tuned for next week’s installment in the Finding Cherries series: How To Stay Peaceful in Our Crazy Mixed-Up World.
Love & Light!
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