You know that mug, “You have as many hours in the day as Beyonce”? I love that mug. (Available for pre-order here). I love it not because it reminds me that I have not yet found my flawless diva fame, but instead, it’s a reminder that in order to do that, I better start prioritizing what’s actually important to me.
As a society, between smart phones, text messages and constant communication, whenever you ask someone how they’re doing, or how work is, it’s “busy.” Everyone is busy. Very very busy. It’s why we show up late to dinners, or not at all. It’s why we never emailed you back, or forgot your birthday. We also kind of love showing off just how busy we are, and it can make us feel super important. And I understand that. But after missing one too many invitations, I went hunting for some ideas to move away from The Busy Trap, and I found an article from Lifehacker on becoming an Essentialist taken from the Harvard Business Review and their Humblebrag article. Here are some tips below!
- Schedule a personal quarterly off site – Take some time to really think about yourself, your goals, and what’s important to you. Every three months, write down what you want to accomplish coming up. Not only will it give you some strong focus, it could also help you on ensuring that you’re finding Purpose in your daily life.
- Rest well to excel – Arianna Huffington for making sleep a priority, and we should, too. Seriously. If you’re not sleeping enough, you’re practically working drunk, and, your ability to make decisions diminishes drastically. If you know you’ll have a late night coming up, plan ahead and see how you can proactively think about where you can sneak in more rest.
- Add expiration dates to activities – Maybe you wanted to learn Spanish this year or guitar. Don’t push yourself to sign up for a full year of guitar lessons, instead, create a schedule and smaller milestones to reach. One trick can be to reward yourself when you’ve reached a specific goal and how you’d like to extend that activity. Such as, if you think you’d like to become a marathon runner, start with a goal to run two times a week for a month. Once you wrap the month, you can reassess how you feel about the activity and if it’s something you’d like to continue, or adapt.
- Say no to a good opportunity every week – We are full of excitement to try the latest restaurant or see a new band that’s playing in town. However, it’s essential to figure out when you need to recharge, and, the types of activities that truly nourish you. So, this week you might say no thanks to that restaurant date and instead, ask if they’d like to come over and learn how to cook Ina’s latest recipes. Either way, give yourself the space to say no to things that carve time away from what you enjoy doing.
These four tips helped me start considering how to make more time for myself. I schedule my gym times, and I don’t cancel on plans anymore. Or at least, as much as I used to. I also follow the Two Minute Rule by James Clear: if emailing you back, or sending a funny birthday e-card is only going to take two minutes, I do it. Right now. Immediately. If I bumped into you on the street and said, “hey, let’s hang out!” I’m going to email you the next moment I’m sitting at a computer to let you know I meant it.