We have a love affair with being busy.
How often do you hear someone say, “I’m sooooo busy right now that I can’t possibly get around to fill with a number of things you could possibly be doing.” Being ‘too busy’ is a right of passage. We glorify being busy. It’s the idea that so-and-so must be so busy because he or she is so very important. I’ve certainly been guilty of exchanging endless to-do lists with others, subconsciously trying to justify why I could be busier than the next person. I think we’ve all done that sometime.
Why do we do it? Since when did being too busy sound like a better idea than spending quality time with family, friends or ourselves? Did the world come to an end the last time you took a vacation? Why is it so taboo to take some ‘me time’ to really sit with yourself and just be happy with doing nothing?
There’s something to be said for setting up systems to free up your time and to allow you to take a breather. Case in point, I wrote this post casually over a glass of wine last week. Right now, my butt is parked on a beach in Jamaica. I can guarantee you that now, 5 days into my glorious, well-deserved and well-needed refuge from the cold weather and long work weeks, I’m relaxed, mon. I’m likely chillin’ with a book, without a care in world. And there’s nothing wrong with that.
I was in a set it and forget it attitude before I left. I wrote my blog post and date stamped that puppy to release on my website and across social media a week prior to leaving. Rather than trying to sign into some unreliable island wifi service and getting frustrated that I had to work on my time off, I decided to prepare ahead of time and give myself time to really relax.
We’re obsessed with always being productive. And productivity is often measured by the hundreds of tasks we can squeeze into any given day. We often sacrifice the leisures of life to just get shit done. While I’m a huge proponent of really giving your all to the work you do, I’m also a big supporter of taking the time you need to regroup. When you’re constantly on the go, trying to get more done in a a day than might be humanly possible, you lose your creative edge. You get bogged down by the to-do list and often get to the place where you’re just going through the motions.
You don’t have to wait until vacation time to give yourself that space. If you wait only until you can take some time off, you’re cutting yourself short. What if you took only 30 minutes a day or even an hour *gasp* to really unplug from the day-to-day and plug into you? I’m not talking about vegging in front of the TV with remote in hand and shutting down though. I’m talkin’ about doing something that really inspires you and sparks your creativity. Everyone’s different but we all have things that centre us.
Go for a walk. Read a book. Paint. Colour. Cook that fancy French dish you’ve always said you would try. Lift some weights. Call a good friend. Write a poem. Write anything. Sew. Meditate. Put on some music and treat your living room like a club on a Saturday night. Show your pet some love. Create something.
It’s very likely that something on your to-do list can be automated, delegated – or hell – left for another day. Take the time to be real with what you need to remain inspired. Let yourself have that mental space to let new ideas come in.
As much as we love to be busy ‘cuz busy = important, you’re no good to anyone if you’re drained and exhausted.
Try it for a month. Just one month. Take 30 minutes a day to just plug into your creative side – however you do that. And don’t tell me you’re not creative ‘cuz you are. Let the creativity flow. Just 30 minutes a day for one month and I guarantee you’ll be hooked to taking the time out to just be you.