So I do this amazing stuff with women (and men actually, but lets just go with the women thing because. Well. Women) and as we go through the process of it they find the most incredible truths about themselves, and who they are and what they have to offer the world, and what that’s worth and how to do it and suddenly something that wasn’t before JUST IS.
But then there are all these women (and men too) who I know want this but they are just too BUSY to STOP and allow the space and time they need to figure out what that is, and why it’s important to even know (I know why it’s important for them to know because it will take away the wondering about why life doesn’t feel quite right, but they don’t know this). They are busy, like really, truly busy surviving a life that at best is good and at worst is complete overwhelming chaos and sometimes just a constant swinging in between.
And I know it because I lived it and I could not STOP, not once, to find peace and hear (from a soft, singing voice from the depths of my being) my way out. I needed to listen. I needed to know it was in there. I needed to know it was worth everything. I needed to know it was worth more than surviving. And I waited until the world crashed around my head and my heart before I stopped. Because there was no other option. And finally I started to hear the way out. And saw the signs. And found the people. And read the books. And came back to life (not just the version of me who was living and breathing and functioning everyday, but the version of me who knew why it was important she was here and how she and the world needed that more than anything). And that version of me is sometimes busy, but not doing all the things she was before. She’s writing, she’s helping other people find what they need, she’s creating new ideas, she’s at exercise class and loving her friends, and she’s with her children (like with them when she’s with them, you know what I mean right?), she laughs too loud (but with honesty not desperation, you know what I mean right?) and sometimes she’s ridiculous.
I need to tell them to STOP first. To be brave enough to stop first.
Stop being so busy.
You are far too busy running from who you are to ever feel the way you really want to feel about your life or to do the things (the magical and important things) you were put here to do.
So here’s my red-hot guide to be a better juggler of time.
It’s my gift to you. To help you to stop being so busy. I wonder what’s possible after that?
STOP. Like physically stop. You can skip this step, but you might as well stop reading here and be cool with how life is. Because if nothing changes nothing changes right? I know it may seem counter-intuitive to tell you that the way to get more done is to stop doing anything, but right now it’s the only option. Truly.
Do you know how to stop? Do you know how to make this a priority? To make you a priority? Because stopping the busy-ness is the first way to stop running away from what you need to know, to know what to do next. And the truth is, if you don’t do it by choice life will do it for you – adrenal fatigue, chronic fatigue or something even more debilitating. Let the stopping be your choice. You owe yourself that. I could never meditate, it seemed like the hardest thing to do ever, but once I stopped fighting it (the boringness, the constant chatter in my head about all the things I could be doing instead), I made some space and time to hear the next step. And the way forward.
You will have a million excuses. Some of you will put this aside and come back to it (another day/week/year). Some of you will start and then be interrupted and come back to it (another day/week/year) or not at all. Let me tell you it will NEVER be the right time for this. In a logical, practical, sensible time-keeping way. But it’s the most important thing you will ever make time for in your life. It’s like giving yourself undivided listening and attention and presence. The greatest gift of all. Do you deserve that? What will it mean if you do it? What will it mean if you don’t?
Can you find 1 hour? 1 hour. That is all I am asking. If you can’t do it yourself, send me a message with your phone number and I will call you and book in a time so we can work through it together. But you need one, whole uninterrupted hour with nothing else to steal your focus. If there’s something you have to do to make sure this happens, go do it now (like close the door, get the children cared for, turn your phone off) and then come back. The next bit requires focus.
- Stop doing everything. Well the wrong everything.
I know you. I know EXACTLY how you are. You are doing everything. Either because you feel you have no choice or because you don’t allow anyone to help you. Either way, this is not true. And all those things are not things you love. Some of them might be. Some of them might be things that are OK. Lots of them are things you just do because they have to be done and some of them you hate.
And no matter how angry you are and how much you resent some of those things, you still do them because if not you, then who? And while you do everything that is not your everything (they everything that lives in you that could change everything about your life) day by day you (and your everything disappears piece by piece, until one day you are not sure who you are outside of all the things you do. Defined by motherhood, or being a wife or your job or all of them in a messy, mixed up version of you that is not who you are.
You have to stop doing those things. The things you hate, the things you resent and the things that are only OK. Many of the survival mode things. You can do them, some of them you are probably pretty good at, but they are not your magic, they are not the precious and important things you are meant to be doing.
There is a process to work out what these things are. I’ve shared this process before, but so many people didn’t even open the email, let alone find the hour to do the process. So here’s a short cut.
For an average week day I want you to list everything you do. From waking to bed. Everything. And then next to each thing I want you to write LOVE. OK. Or HATE. I know, pretty strong words and only 3 choices. But too many choices gives you too many excuses. So only 3 choices.
Are you surprised? What does this show you?
If you didn’t do the OK or HATE stuff, how much time would be FREE in your day for something else? Now I’m not saying this is a comfortable or easy process, and I’m not promising it happens in a week. But there is a life that you can have and it’s full of so many things you love, and a bit of OK and some juggling, but it’s tilted way more favourably in the love direction and suddenly it feels like there is more time. In fact there is. There is more time!
If you didn’t do those things who would? Who could? If you answered no-one here I promise you it is not true. If you didn’t cook dinner every night do you think any of the other adults in your house would step up? If there are no other adults in your house, how do find one?
Let me tell you a story about me. And not because I want you think I’m amazing or special but because this is the truth of my story. I’m a sole parent and have four children and am the sole income earner for my family (my girl’s Dad doesn’t work, doesn’t make a financial contribution, and has our children irregularly). I’ve always been the best all-rounder (seriously I won an award for this at school) and I’m actually good at everything, but that has often been a problem surprisingly because I thought because I could do it, I should do it. I’m good at everything except gardening, and practical jobs like plumbing, electrical, building stuff. I’m an ace house-keeper and can cook, and do laundry very well, can make beds like a pro (I ran a tourism business in an earlier part of this life), can do book-keeping, can drive kids to and from school and all their sporting commitments, can grocery shop. But guess what? I do very little of that in my everyday, regular week. And I work from my home studio and I work about 4 days/week, and my business is currently earning me about $120K a year and growing. And I go to exercise classes, and travel for work and holidays with my family, and see my friends for coffee. And what I do for work? It’s like everything I love. Writing. And working with people. And helping them unhide. And I can tell you that every day I do my everything. I bring it to the table in a thousand different ways and it’s the best thing I ever did. It’s the best of me. But to find it, I had to stop doing the wrong everything first to find a space to figure it out.
What is the wrong everything that is making you consistently busy, but not actually getting you anywhere?
- Create space.
This is literal physical space, but also space in your schedule, space in your heart, space in your head and space for new things to come in. If you’ve done number 2, then there is no doubt plenty of space that you currently have filled with things that are not the right thing. I’m coming to the solution for that, but that solution is also tied to this one.
Is there space for you to focus, undisturbed on creating something new in your life? Is there an actual space for you to work? Is there time in your schedule to commit a certain amount of time to working on it? Is there room in your house for support services? I’m serious. It doesn’t matter which of the things you identified in number 2 as being OK and/or hating, but if not you then who? And sometimes having space in your home (your kitchen, your laundry, your office, your garden, a whole bedroom) means there is room for someone to come in and do some of the everything that is not the everything you are meant to be doing.
Check list of space requirements:
- Physical space – office, desk, corner nook. Uncluttered space. Clear desk, comfortable chair. Dedicated work space.
- Schedule space – see 2 above, what things are you not meant to be doing? You need some blocks of time in your weekly schedule to be undisturbed so you can work out what to do without the busy-ness overwhelming you
- Head space – get it out. All of it. Onto paper. Out of your head. All the things. All the worries.
- Heart space – unresolved conversations, resentments, letting go, forgiveness. What things are clogging your heart space so there’s no room for the new?
- Get it all in order.
This is a priority thing. Of course. And you’ve probably heard it all before, but knowing it and actioning it are two different things. Prioritising is really about working out the most important things and then all the things that have to happen first to make the most important things happen.
What if this was the most important thing you ever committed one hour of time to? How would it feel if every time you said, “I don’t have time for that” you changed it to “that’s not a priority to me right now”?
And start. With the first thing on the list. And go one by one.
I promise if you stop doing all the things you hate, and delegate some of the things that are OK – you will have at least 15 extra hours in your week to do something else.
I wonder what that will be?
If you’d like me to help you find out, click here to email me to arrange a time to get on the phone with me and chat about this. Big loves x