I have just come in from a meeting that went longer than intended – this is after an early morning client, before which I managed to get a quick walk in. But now I am returning client calls, doing last minute preparation for an important meeting before I will rush into Auckland traffic to attend a 3 hour class. And this is the day that I had in my diary to catch up on myself because I had to work over the weekend!
Although many of you will have a different story, the theme will be the same! We usually steal time from our sleep, exercise or social time, to fit all the activities that we see as “essential”. However, the impact on our health – mental and physical, as well as on our effectiveness can be immense.
It is so easy to be busy DOING and forget to spend time BEING.
Many of us forget that much of what we do is by choice. And we can choose to add things to our diary, attend the many meetings demanded of us, spend time with people who may drain our energy. We may choose to put a lower priority on our health, exercise routine, time spent with family or friends. But we need to remember that we have the power to consciously choose what makes us happy, energized and excited, who we want to spend time with, and what takes us towards our own goals for ourselves, our family and our future.
Take time to Be
One thing that I have learned, is the busier that I get, the less effective I can be. Whether this is because I end up spending time on things that have little value towards what I am working on or where I am heading, or that I am unable to tap into my creativity and my work is not as effective as it would be if my mind was rested and had the space to just be.
I can sometimes have my best ideas when I am walking on the beach, listening to music or reading a book – creating space to just be rather than do could be the most effective thing that you do for yourself!
Spend time working out what your life goals and priorities are. Are you spending your time working on activities that are helping you fulfill these, or are you being busy with activities that take you away from these?
Think about the activities that resource you – it could be spending time with a friend, going to a movie, reading a book etc. Whatever it is, make sure you add this to your week – this should be non negotiable, not the nice to haves.
Today’s living has many demands on us and our time. It takes effort to ensure that we consciously design the way that we want to spend it. And remember, we all have choices, and it can often start with using the word “No”.
The Top Five Regrets of the Dying, as documented by palliative care nurse Bronnie Ware (2011) are:
- Being true to yourself (rather than doing what others expected of you)
- Not working so hard
- Having the courage to express feelings
- Staying in touch with friends and
- Letting yourself be happier
We can all work on these now. None of us can predict the future and we never know what is around the corner, so let’s start living life consciously and ensure that our life is full of the activities that energise us and make us happy! Contact me for further information.