Well, there we go! Another year, another New Year Blog post. Last year, it was start as you mean to continue (still a good idea btw). This year: actual real ways to help the Busy.
I keep hearing stories about people being so busy, and so stressed, that it’s taking its toll on their bodies resulting in disease or injuries.
The only advice they seem to get is: “you need to do less”. Or “you need to quit your job”.
Whilst yes, sometimes maybe we do need to do less, sometimes we also don’t have the option of doing less.
Quitting your job might sound great, but we still have to live and have bills to pay unless you’re some trust fund baby. So these kinds of advice are simply not useful at all.
The reality is that we live in a busy busy world, and we have responsibilities that doesn’t simply allow us to just run away or just drop everything and relax.
My tools and approach are more about how to streamline my life, prioritise, and outsource, to make my busy busy life a little bit less busy, and make sure stuff gets done.
- Make sure basic survival needs are looked after: food, water, shelter, sleep. As someone who lives on her own and a shift worker, I really struggled with the food part. Then I discovered a food delivery service: HelloFresh. They deliver interesting and different recipes to you along with the exact ingredients needed to make those meals TO YOUR DOOR. This helped me save so much time from not having to go to the supermarket and also not knowing what to cook every week, and prevented me from either coming home with nothing in the fridge, or having too much in the fridge and wasting food. And having saved time from this, meant I have more time for other things in my life! (Outsourcing! If someone else does it better, let them do it for you)
- Many years ago I also struggled with remembering to drink water when I got busy, so I downloaded an app on my phone to remind me to drink water every hour.
- Find systems that work for you. Automate rent and bill payments to ensure you don’t forget about them because you’re too busy and then end up causing more stress because you have overdue bills.
- “Multitask” - I don’t mean doing 5 work tasks at a time, because that kind of multitasking doesn’t actually work! But what you can do, is go for a walk and make all your phone calls during that time, so you have your movement time AND getting work calls/meetings done! One thing I’ve been getting in the habit of doing is that when I take public transport, I make sure I get out the house earlier, then get off the tram a few stops before, so I can do a bit of walking on my way to class, and make all my calls during that time (using earphones of course! So I can walk with full arm swing). Other times you can multitask are: Brushing your teeth and stretching your hammies, washing the dishes and practising your mountain pose, using a standing desk and stretching your calves/rolling out your feet while working on your computer. Who says they don’t have time to stretch and exercise??
- Learn to delegate, both at home and at work. Find a way to split up chores so you do the things you love more/hate less. If you have the luxury of delegating jobs at work, and you know there’s someone who can do it better/good enough, then let them.
- Have a support system. Knowing that I have people who got my back gives me tremendous amount of mental support. And then don’t be afraid to ask for help. Nadine and I are both quite good at asking each other for help.
- And equally, we are both also quite good at saying no when we don’t have any capacity. Learn to say no to commitments that are just not high on your priority list. Say no to a party thrown by an acquaintance, and not your good friend. And if they are a good friend, they will understand if you say no because you really need to catch up on sleep.
I hope my systems help you delegate and find calm in the chaos this year!