One of the challenges in moving from living a hectic life to one that is moving at a much slower pace is the fear of “giving up” things that we believe make us happy. The thought of cutting something out of our lives can make us feel uncomfortable or question whether it’s the right thing to do.
Humans are creatures of habit: once we get into a routine, it’s pretty darn hard to break out of it. There is a place in our lives for some sort of routine and predictability, and some habits are very good to get into. But when routines and habits aren’t healthy for us and stop us from achieving greatness or experiencing a different level of happiness, it’s time to look at the way we are living and start questioning whether there are better ways to do what we are currently doing.
So for those of you who are just dipping your toes into the water of unbusyness or are beginning to question why you are so busy and how you can change the pace, here are 5 ways to create “more time” without sacrificing anything you are currently doing:
1. Accept that unbusyness is not going to appear gift wrapped on your doorstep one morning: this is a gradual change in lifestyle which begins with the decision to WANT to slow down.
2. Manifestation helps us achieve what we so desire. That doesn’t mean by chanting “I’m going to be unbusy, I’m going to unbusy” 500 times each day and constantly thinking of a less busy life our place will slow down. Positive words and thoughts are not enough: we have to live as though we are already unbusy. Begin by slowing down the tasks that you work on each day: don’t rush while washing the dishes, don’t run from one appointment to the next. Start speaking as though you are not busy: when talking to someone, don’t steer the conversation towards how busy your life is and how you are not achieving everything you want to. Feel grateful and happy for the things you have achieved each day.
3. Restructure your days. Companies restructure themselves on a regular basis to cut costs and increase productivity, but we can restructure our time to create more. Think about how you go about your day and write a list of all the ways that your days are not “working” or areas of your days that seem busier than others. For example, I find the time between when my kids get home from school and when I leave for work the most hectic. I have identified that the hectic energy at this time of the day is because I am cooking dinner while the kids are eating their after school snack, which does not allow me to sit with them and help with homework or readers. I have now promised my kids that I will cook dinner during the day so that when they get home from school, I have time to sit with them and help with homework before I have to leave for work. I have not cut anything out of my day but simply restructured my hours.
4. Be yourself. How can being authentic create more time in our lives? We often live our lives as though we are someone who we are not- trying to impress others requires effort and time that we could use living the life that we truly want for ourselves. Maybe you have taken something on just because you wanted to please someone else, or are behaving in a manner that does not align with who you truly are or what you value. Realign your time with who you truly are, and learn to accept yourself- flaws and all. I accept that I’m the woman who doesn’t have a home that looks like a display home- messiness, finger prints on windows, loom bands on the floor- but that’s who I am and what my life is. I could spend my time making sure everything at home looks perfect to project an image of perfectionism to everyone else, but that’s not the real Natalie.
5. Be generous with your time. Hold on, how can you be generous with your time when you barely have enough for yourself? It is through giving and helping others that we can put our own lives into perspective and gain a sense of fulfilment and satisfaction. Giving our time to help others who are struggling helps us realise that our daily struggles may not be as important as we think they are when compared with what others are experiencing. This can help us shift the way that we spend our time. Giving our time to make someone else happy makes us happy- seeing someone smile or having them thank us for our generosity gives us a feeling of satisfaction and contentment that can help us move through each day with a little less stress and busyness. And the more we give, the more we receive- someone else will be generous with their time and it may end up helping us in some way.
Moving from a busy to a less busy lifestyle may sound overwhelming and requiring too many sacrifices and changes, however by starting off with these 5 tips you will be creating shifts in your lives that will allow you to have a taste of what an unbusy lifestyle is.
The focus of an unbusy lifestyle is not what is being given up, but what is being gained- more time.