How I am Ending My Busy Bee Cycle
How Much of Your Day is Spent Doing “Busy Work”?
Is It Really What You feel compelled to Do?
It has really started to dawn on me that there is nothing you really NEED to do. There is only what you think you should be doing and what you feel compelled to do.
The things that you feel you SHOULD be doing are the things that make you feel guilty when you’re not doing them or working towards them in some way. So much so that even when you are practicing the infamous “self-care” you are thinking about them. You are loathing yourself in some way for postponing those tasks.
This is bullshit.
I am an expert at it.
But, it has finally occurred to me that the point of working so hard to build a life that I love is to enjoy it. To lean into the things I’m COMPELLED to do. Moments spent writing in sunshine in the backyard. Reading on the couch. Taking a nap. Taking a walk. Taking photographs. Connecting with people. Whatever.
Reminder: It’s your life. You are the only one that has a say in how you live it. You are the one who is responsible for enjoying it in whatever way suits you.
Some days I want to watch Wonder Woman and colour in a colouring book. Other days I want to go for a hike or do a yoga class. Some days I want to get lost in work all day. Most days I want to do a bit of all of it.
And I’m committing to leaning into those moments.
What is the point of creating a life for myself if I don’t live it the way I want to? If I don’t give myself the freedom to binge watch Gilmore Girls every once in a while. To do my work outside with puppy play breaks. To not allow it to feel like it needs to be so hard all the freaking time.
What would it look like for you if you went through your day asking yourself, what do I truly want to do right now?
Would your answers surprise you?
“WHAT IS THIS MOMENT FOR?”- KAtrina Ruth
This is something I’ve come to ask myself as many times a day as I can think to do it (Thank you Katrina Ruth for bringing it into my life).
You see, I’m trying to rewire my brain to not want to be busy just to FEEL like I’m being productive.
Why is it so against my nature to just take a freaking breath, and think, what do I actually want to be doing right now? And then...you know...do it.
It’s taken me years to even kind of get a grip on this.
I suffer greatly from the inability to chill the fuck out. To regularly take a couple of hours to do nothing if I want to without feeling like I let myself down. Like I am somehow not going to succeed because of how “lazy” I’m being.
My only responsibility is to be a good person and to build the life that I want. Everything else is gravy.
The freedom to spend 2 hours doing “nothing” if I want is actually what I’ve worked so hard to build.
Does that mean I watch 2 hours of TV a day? No. But that’s just not my thing.
Does that mean I’m not working towards the vision I have for my life? No.
Does it mean that I give my head, heart, and soul a break when it needs it, however it needs it? YES.
Does it mean I understand that pure me time is just as valuable as work time? YES
The freedom to do that is exactly what I’m working towards. So why in the hell wouldn’t I take advantage of that now. To be that person now.
This might sound crazy, but I am actually way more enthralled and in flow with my work when I am actually excited to be doing it. I know, nuts right?
Don’t get me wrong, it takes discipline. All of it does. You have to discipline yourself to take the pause, to do the work that actually matters (instead of checking facebook 7 times an hour), to lean into the moment. To be conscious of it. To be grateful for it. To really feel it and embrace it.
It’s hard. I have to remind myself every day.
But, I know for a fact that doing something just to be doing something is not working for me anymore. That doing something just to feel busy is...well...dumb. You end up getting nothing done at all as a matter of fact.
Doing something because you believe in it, are curious about it, or passionate about it? That, on the other hand, is guaranteed to take you places. Is guaranteed to make you pause, to appreciate.
Will you have to discipline yourself to commit to that work at first? Definitely. But, I bet it gets flowing pretty quickly after that.
I bet you’ll notice how much procrastination was actually going on trying to get into that flow.
Instead of spending an hour pretending to work, and then 2 hours working. Why don’t you spend an hour doing what you actually want, and then 2 hours working?
I used to be all over the “its my process” crap, so don’t give me that.
It might take getting used to, but I guarantee when you choose to focus on work when it’s time for that and spend the rest of your time exactly how you want to, you will be a more efficient and purposeful worker.
CHANGE WILL DO YOU GOOD
Maybe you have a whole life filled with “I wish I was doing something else moments”, moments you feel like you can’t escape from. Things you can’t change.
It might be hard (it might be really hard), but you can always change. If nothing else, you can change your attitude, your outlook, your perspective. If you changed nothing else, this would improve your life.
What really matters is that when you realize you are living more moments of “I don’t wanna” then moments of “This is exactly what I want to be doing right now” that you take action to change that. In one big way or a lot of little ways.
Because no one is going to do it for you, and one day you might not even know what you want anymore. You will have ignored it for too long.
It is not irresponsible to put off planning that presentation for five minutes to enjoy your coffee. You will be more present in your work that way anyway. You don’t have to EARN your “This is what I want” moments.
It’s about being present. Practicing it until it’s just intrinsic.
My natural reaction is still “How dare I sit still for 1 minute when there are things I could be doing”. However, I am now aware of this said reaction and it is freaking changing the game for me.
This is something I’ve struggled with for a long time. The feeling like I need to make every moment count. Like every moment needs to be dedicated to either physical, financial, mental or spiritual growth. And while I still believe that’s true, I understand now that the way I was perceiving “growth” was much too linear. I was being forceful in it.
Sitting in stillness is growth. Being in touch with what you really want to do is growth. Actually doing it is big-time motherfreaking growth.
It takes discipline to commit to listening to your thoughts and following through with what they have to say. To do the easy and the hard things every day. To be intentional.
To not just do busy work to make yourself feel like you are accomplishing something when really all you’re doing is avoiding what really needs to be done.
What has worked best for me to keep me on track in this mindset shift is to set out 4 things that are non-negotiable for me everyday. 4 things that I am compelled to do everyday to thrive, feel fulfilled, and lit up.
I have committed to not letting my head hit the pillow at night until all my Non-Negotiables are done.
Create for 25mins-1hour (share what I create): Usually Writing
Work on my Mindset: read, journal, meditate
Move my butt for 30+mins: Self-Explanatory
Do something that scares me: This could be selling something, posting a blog that’s a little more vulnerable, reaching out to someone I admire...yadayadayada
After I have accomplished those 4 things everything else is a bonus.
It’s incredible how this has shifted my mindset and health.
That’s how it’s turned out for me anyway, and I can only really speak for myself.
I made myself a priority in my own life.
I choose to be disciplined in these 4 things every day. Not because I NEED to but because I know it’s what’s best for me. That even when I don’t really feel like it, I will feel a million times better after doing any one of these things.
I love to write, so I committed to writing every day.
I am passionate about my health and fitness so I commit to working out however I feel like working out that day.
I know devoting time to work on my mindset will make for a happier and saner little lady.
I know doing something that freaks me out a little bit or a lot a bit will make me a stronger person and will push me to the next level version of myself.
They’re are not checkmarks on a to-do list and I am not doing it for the thrill of checking it off in my planner. I am doing it because it brings me joy.
Eventually, it’ll just be a given that I write every day. It’ll just be deeply a part of who I am. Until then, I completely understand that it is up to me. It is my choice. I get to choose to be disciplined to myself and who I want to be.
It will make me the type of person who lives the vision I’m trying to create. That I’m going to create.
I don’t need to do any of these things, I choose to do them.
What would you choose?
What are you compelled to do every day to feel happy and fulfilled in your life?
How many of them are you doing regularly?
Can you change that?
Do you want to?
I bet you’ll realize a lot of your time has been spent doing things that don’t matter just to fill the hours.
I bet you’ll find that extra hour you’ve been looking for in the day.
I know I have.
It was tough for me to face the music in this regard but I’m pretty stoked that I did.
I know I’m talking a big discipline game but I want ya know that I definitely haven’t always felt this way. Before now, I really felt like I lacked the discipline to be consistent and remain that way.
I’ve come to understand it’s because I was working towards things that I didn’t really want. Not really.
I was working towards things that I wanted more than whatever present reality I was in but where really only a distraction from what I really should have been doing the whole time.
Fear is a son of a bitch, my friends. A big ole’ son of a bitch.
I see you, Fear. I appreciate your concern for my well-being. But, I think I will go about things the way I was anyway. Because I’m not willing to stay in place anymore, I’m not willing to live another day without really being all that I can be or working towards that version of myself.
Would it be easier to just watch Gilmore Girls reruns all day? Um ya. And, you know what, maybe I will. After I read, meditate and journal, write for an hour, do some yoga, put content out into the world and reach out to someone I think is out of my league.
Even now, old Laffy pops up sometimes and looks at my non-negotiables and thinks “Man that’s gonna take all day”, but I know better. I can have all this stuff done by noon.
Get up early, go to bed late, whatever works for you. Just be disciplined in getting it all done before your head hits the pillow.
Just CHOOSE to commit to yourself. Do what you have to do to remind yourself why it matters.
It’s taken me a long time to get here. But, I am so freaking glad I am.
This is merely the beginning!