People?s lives today are jam-packed with great projects, ideas, to-do lists, errands, things we should do, things we could do, duties and obligations. No surprise then, that many of us feel we barely have time to do the things we have to do (or think we have to do), let alone spare time for fitting in anything extra.
Why do we insist on keeping ourselves so busy? We have trained ourselves to believe that to be busy improves our chances of success in this world. The ?no pain, no gain? mentality. Also, our minds love to be active. For many high achieving types, taking ?mental time out? is tantamount to laziness!
Being busy is not necessarily a bad thing ? often we accomplish a lot in our busy lives. But when we get to a point where the level of activity is running our lives, it?s time to take some action! Ask yourself:
Why do I choose to take on all the things I do?
Do I really understand what is driving these choices?
What are the things I can?t do that I would like to, because I am too busy?
Enter the simplification process. It sounds deceptively easy but the reality is usually different. It?s hard to let go of things that you have invested time, money and emotions into.
I suggest people look at 3 areas:
Firstly, stop doing things ? just stop. Pick 2 or 3 activities (like projects, committee memberships or DIY home activities) and decide not to do them. That?s the first big step.
Second, examine all the great ideas you have in your head ? the things you keep thinking about that take up mental space (financial goals that have yet to come true, becoming a size ten, pipe dreams). You?ve done OK in your life without those things so far, and chances are that you?ll continue to survive. Give them up.
Third, reduce or eliminate your errands. These sneaky timewasters chew up a lot of physical and mental energy. If you haven?t? done them, you are thinking about doing them, and once they are done, you often need to repeat them from month to month! With the technology around today, there are very few errands that need to take up time. Bill paying, shopping, buying presents ? all these things can be done in a fraction of your time on the internet, or can be outsourced.
The reality is if we have nothing better to do, we?ll keep doing all those things we normally do ? the things that keep us busy. Simplify your life and make time to find those better things to do. Guaranteed, you?ll enjoy it.