Are You Going Somewhere or Are you Only Busy?
I’m a mum, a wife, and I’m building my own business. Life can be hectic; some days I feel as I’m on top of the world and moving forward, whereas other days I feel as if I was stuck in the mud, not knowing how to untangle myself from the situation I’m in. And I’m ok with it, as life has taught me that productivity, success, and emotions oscillate wildly. But it hasn’t always been like this.
Back in the past, I craved and thrived on busyness; on my off days, I would clog up my schedule with so many activities, I would get to the end of the day completely exhausted. Exhaustion felt great.
I was always the one with two jobs, a crazy social life, and I was also always studying and learning something new. I didn’t sit still, meditating was painful and my self-worth was defined by how long my to-do list was.
I was one of those annoying people that when asked, “How are you?” they replied, “Busy.” What a conversation killer!
Was this way of living serving me? Not at all; my mind was incapable of pausing and recharging, and I had to deal with regular anxious attacks, mellowed down by a couple of glasses of wine (or even more) at night. I was a high functioning nut case that would stop only when terribly sick.
When I became a mother, I kept on living the same lifestyle; all of a sudden, I wasn’t busying myself with work-related projects, but I wanted to be the living proof that having a child didn’t necessarily mean slowing down.
Three months into that way of living, and I was ready to give up, seriously considering jumping out of the balcony.
At the same time, I was trying to build my own business, I was ridden with anxiety and felt stuck in a puddle of mud.
Until I was forced to face the truth, and I asked myself a simple question:
Is what I’m doing today, bringing me to where I want to be?
Are the actions that I’m taking today shaping the person that I want to become?
It wasn’t comfortable answering to these questions, as many walls made of preconceptions, self-destructive behaviours, and worth related fears had to come crashing down before I could face the raw truth.
And this is what I did:
I spent a full week daydreaming of my ideal day
This exercise sounds so enjoyable, yet it was excruciating; I had to confront the deeply ingrained idea that I wasn’t smart enough, and I didn’t have enough help or time in a day to get where I wanted to go. It was all BS. After a hardcore week made of daydreaming, journaling, and creating vision boards, I nailed my ideal day.
Knowing what I valued, what really mattered, and what I really wanted, made everything so much simpler.
I quickly realised I was investing time completing tasks that I didn’t care about, and I was also sharing my time with people that dragged me down. It felt so confronting to finally hold my dream so close to my heart and have it on paper, instead of only in my brain.
The 3 Questions
After writing up my dream day, I went on writing a daily/weekly and monthly to-do list that would take me where I wanted to be. In my dream day, I would work with joy on my business, I was a present and loving mother, and wife; there was also time to move my body, relax and sleep as much as I needed to. And there was also a cat!
After jolting down my never-ending to-do list made of 12 + tasks that needed to be accomplished each day, I sat down, and I went through it again while asking myself the following questions (thanks Kate Northrup):
Does it have to be done?
Does it have to be done now?
Does it have to be done by me?
After answering harshly to the above questions, I was left with only six tasks to do. And then I asked THE question again: Are these activities going to help me get where I want to go?
Et voila’, all of a sudden there were only three things I really had to focus on. Magic!
3 Easy Steps to make More Time in No Time
Bring a pen and paper because homework is included
I started taking time IN
After realising what I had to focus on, I freed up so much space in my life; and that’s when I decided to shift my mentality and focus on being rather than doing. I made peace with the fact that some days were made to sit down and write content for 5 hours in a row, while on other occasions I had to be present for my daughter, without the distraction of a phone or laptop. I also realised that there were times in a day and a month that I was bursting with energy (I’m a morning and full moon person), while there were times when sitting down, and doing some reading and editing was the only thing I could afford to do (night and dark moon). As soon as I figured that out, I stopped beating myself up for not pushing my body while going through a dry spell, and I suddenly become a more loving and funnier mum to be around, as my head wasn’t always swirling in different places. I was finally able to be fully present with my little one.
And I nourished and rested as if it was my full-time job
Being a high achiever, and entirely in love with busyness, I always rejected the concept of resting. Until I became a mum, I crushed under the weight of too many sleepless nights, and I became exhausted. After learning that lessons, I started resting like a pro, I stopped going for walks early in the morning, I laid down next to my daughter while she was playing, and on some nights, I went to sleep so early that the moon wasn’t even up.
On top of it, I started eating for success; I made sure to avoid skipping meals, I stopped relying on caffeine, I cut down sugar and alcohol almost completely, and I served myself nourishing meals daily (I mean, holidays and dinner out happen). Within a month, I was a different person, less edgy, not anxious, with glowing skin and thicker hair, and, most of all, I started bursting with energy and creativity.
And I also had to put a stop on the comparison trap! More on it here:
One Word can Change Your Day For the Better
Sometimes the most powerful tips are the easiest to implement
Now I know where I’m going, and I focus my time on the things that matter the most while taking care of my body as if I was an athlete.
I deserve to be well, I deserve to be inspired, I deserve to thrive.
Are you feeling slightly stressed out lately? Feel free to download my free Ebook where I explain what stress does to our body and how we can build up our resilience to it