Have you ever just woke up in the morning and thought "I have so much to do today, where do I start?"
No matter what your circumstances or situation, we all have days like this, we may have a busy office to run, meeting clients, school runs, running a household or saving the world, it all boils down to getting things done, but where do you start?
I took a moment out in my garden this morning and stood quietly in the stillness of my garden, birds singing, dogs playing in the grass and not another person in my world at that moment only me. I remembered days gone by where I had time to go out and tend to the weeds that are overgrowing, to plant the flowers that would have blossomed this Spring or to just be, so when did life become so busy that I now don't find the time to do all the things I used to do? It happened because I let it happen.
No one asked me to get up every day and achieve everything in 24 hours, but the pace of life has become such that we feel required to get it all done! It feels like a race in our minds to get the next task done whilst in the middle of another, thus not fully committing to the present task at hand, no wonder so many people are running around like headless chickens, not remembering what they were to do next or where they left that last important letter to be posted, we are passing ourselves out and our minds are trying to keep up. I have learned through my own life, that there is no one else in charge of your peace only you. Take one small step today that will change how you feel it each day.
So here are my 3 mindful steps to having a better day
We all have a list of things in our minds to do on any given day and sometimes a few extra things are thrown on as the day unfolds, but remember we can only do one thing at a time. Write out a little list for yourself each day or the day before if you like to be more organised. Start with what your really have to do and then prioritise your list to what you really want to do and see how your day changes. If we work from a place of wanting to do instead of having to do, our day becomes less stressful and we are happier in our tasks.
2. Purposeful Pause
No matter how busy your day is, allow yourself three purposeful pauses. This is an allotted time which can be added in on your To Do list each morning. It may only be 5 minutes to start with each day, but as the days go on and you become more focused, you will stretch it to 10 minutes and maybe even longer, we all deserve time out and no matter how busy your life is, if you don't take time out for yourself, it is harder to focus on each task clearly and efficiently. I hear your saying "what can I do for myself in 5 minutes!?", that is exactly it, you don't need to do anything, just be! Sit quietly and focus on your breathing and as you do feel your body start to relax, if the mind continues to draw you away to your next task, just say " yes that is next on my list, but for right now it is just about me". You will feel refreshed and rested after each purposeful pause and not end the day saying "I didn't have a minute to myself today!"
3. Learn to switch off
Some people find that they can never switch off and in particular home makers who are working from home and constantly seeing things to be done, but we all need a 'clocking out' time and not when you are ready to fall down with exhaustion. Learn to listen to your body and when it tells you it is time to switch off, do it. If you are in the office and have been working overtime to meet the deadline, how much more productive would you be if you actually went home on time and came in a little bit earlier the next day? If you are self-employed and your mind is constantly coming up with new ideas and you jump up to switch on the computer again at 10pm! Don't! We need to let the mind and the body rest for a certain amount each day. If the mind is constantly on overdrive, then our bodies believe they are too, there is only so much the body will put up with before it lets you know that it needs to rest, don't let it be when you can't get up out of bed some morning because your body has gone on strike! Have a least two evenings where you consciously are switching off the mind to rest and fun. Write it into your diary or as a reminder on your phone, then switch off the phone and go and do it.
What is the point in working so hard if you don't have time to enjoy your life, when it comes to the day that you are taking your last breath on this Earth, will you say to yourself "I am so glad that I worked every hour I could" or " I really lived a full and happy life, I have no regrets"
Sharon Fitzmaurice is an Holistic Wellness Coach and Best selling Author based in Co. Galway. She facilitates workshops, training and retreats to help others live a mindful life.