If we can’t say we’re busy then we feel guilty, as if we’re slacking off. This is because being busy is often seen as an indicator of our work ethic, commitment, performance and ultimately success. If doing more is a good thing why then are we continually encouraged to ‘work smarter, not harder’. What does working smarter actually mean? Personally I think it’s about making smarter decisions about where to spend our time. Taking time to consider whether this activity or that action is going to add value to our lives. Is it going to help us achieve our goals?
Of course the only way we can answer that question is to be clear about our goals. Clarifying our goals requires time to think and in our busy lives, finding that time can be challenging. I sometimes worry that we have lost the ability to be still and staying busy gives us a false sense of accomplishment.
This lack of being busy, is something I’ve only recently learned to embrace. I’m not busy but I’m learning to get lot of things done. Important things. Things that move me forward toward my goals and give me the time I need to enjoy some quiet reflection of my world and myself.
So I encourage you to take time to let your thoughts wander. To think about nothing in particular. To enjoy the quiet, both outside and inside yourself. And in this space, take the time to think about what is important to you, what your goals are and ultimately whether all of your ‘busy-ness’ is taking you down the path toward your goals.
Ask yourself if what you are doing today is taking you closer to where you want to be tomorrow.
Effort is important, but knowing where to make an effort makes all the difference.
**If you would like to start clarifying your goals get a free copy of my Setting Yourself up for Success E-Workbook here.
I was chatting with a new friend today about some of the pros and cons of being an expat on overseas assignment. One of the positives that I had found was the opportunity to declutter our home. Moving to a new country we had opted to move into a ‘furnished’ apartment.
For me this had meant some serious thinking about what I really needed to take with me to a new country. Sure there were some obvious essentials like clothes and some personally important documents, but when it came to kitchen paraphernalia, home décor items, books, manchester and the like, it was surprising how little I opted to bring and even more surprising how little I have missed everything left behind.
This decluttering has also led to a greater level of organisation in our home. Things have a place and everything is in its place. (Well most of the time, subject to teenage offspring and a non-complying spouse!) The primary reason everything has a place is that there actually is space! No longer do I have cupboards and drawers stuffed to overflowing with surplus sheets, towels, Tupperware, electrical appliances, long disused sports gear or benchtops and shelves packed with dusty ornaments, photos and collectables. We don’t have much stuff and therefore don’t need much space.
So why did it take a move overseas to prompt me to declutter? Why had I been tolerating this situation for so long? The benefits have been so obvious, less time spent looking for things, clearing stuff out, trying to find space for things and cleaning!
Tolerations are those things that we put up with every day that distract us from other important things. That nagging sense of needing to clean out cupboards and throw things out could at times be quite draining.
Whilst I’ve discovered the benefits of addressing some of the things I had been tolerating around the home through my decluttering, I have also recognised the benefits of understanding and addressing those things in the other areas of my life that I have been tolerating.
Tolerations come in many different forms, including people, situations, yourself, and your environments. For me these have included the need to revamp my business marketing materials, be more active in my networking, organising my work space and resigning from some groups that are no longer relevant to me.
We all put up with stuff. Identifying our tolerations and then handling them will give us back time and energy to focus on our important goals.
What are you tolerating at the moment?