5 ways to be less busy right now

How to be less busy right nowRight now I have that ‘this time of year’ feeling. At the beginning of November, I feel just like this. The overwhelming feeling that the year is slipping away from me and I haven’t done half what I wanted to do. So I get busy – even busier – making things happen. Preparing for Christmas, holidays, work commitments and year end, all while feeling slightly flat about the whole thing.

Both overwhelmed and underwhelmed at the same time. That feeling.

I took a minute to breathe this morning (in then out, in then out – it’s actually not as hard as I make it out to be). During that minute I (ahem, I’m a little embarrassed to admit this) well, I actually pushed my nose and said ‘I’m changing the channel’. When you were little, did you ever use a nose push to ‘change the channel’ when you were having a bad dream? Well, turns out it works just as well to change your own channel and reset your thinking.

Here are 5 ways I think we can be less busy right now

How to be less busy right now

1. Do the nose push

Go on. It feels ridiculous (and, really, don’t let anyone see you do it) but somehow it works. In the midst of all the frantic, press the tip of your nose and say ‘right, I’m okay, I’m changing the channel’. See, you just reset yourself.

2. Let one thing go

Doesn’t matter what it is, you can choose from your long list of ‘things to do’. Find something on that list and write ‘don’t do it’ next to it. Then cross it off the list. Better yet, find three things, four things… I chose “buy present for the mailman”. I’m sorry, mailman, you’re off the list this year. Maybe next year, dude. I also chose “make mince pies” – sorry honey, I don’t even like them.

3. Embrace the shortcut

We’ve got friends coming to dinner on Saturday night and ordinarily I make everything from scratch but, guess what, not this year. I’m buying in the lot. I also vow to not go crazy with the decorations and absolutely forbid myself from making bunting of any kind. I also refuse to sweep up all the fallen leaves that are all over the yard. Whatever shortcuts are available to you, I strongly urge you to take them and beat the busy.

4. Ignore the list

See that ‘to do’ list. Let it go for an hour or two or more and do something just for you that’s not on the list. On Monday I ignored all the things I had to do for a little while and took myself off to a movie (The Intern – now there’s a movie that will remind you of what’s really important). I find a movie, a trip to the beach without the kids (sacrilege!) or a visit to a friend is always a good way to let it all go for a little while.

5. Do something ordinary

The pressure to be doing exciting festive things right now is all too much. Last weekend we did… nothing. Didn’t meet up with friends, didn’t go to the beach, didn’t plan a thing. We just hung out for the day, read books, pottered in the garden and listened to the kids tell us they were bored (right up until I told them that the floors could really use a wash if they really had nothing better to do).

So, that’s my five, all guaranteed to make me feel better about the busy. Of course, I could also recommend the ‘start at the top of your ‘to do’ list and work your way through it’ approach, but that would sort of defeat the purpose. That busy ‘to do’ list… that darn list!

What’s your recommendation for beating the ‘to do’ list?

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  1. says

    This time of the year, well actually the last few weeks before Christmas can become frantic. The Christmases I love best are when I have all preparations and shopping done by the beginning of Advent (4 weeks prior to Christmas) then I can sit back and enjoy.
    And that ‘to do’ list, does it really matter that all is done? 2 years ago I had a baby 3 days before Christmas, it was all mindset, as well as being well prepared re shopping, and not re house cleaning, I focused on having a baby, the reason for the season. It all become rather special.

    • Maxabella says

      Keeping that focus is so important – it reminds us to have a sense of humour along the way. Doing things together is my priority this time of year anyway. And, of course, my preparations this year are more of the travel variety than the Christmas variety! x

  2. says

    This is a list that I love. Lately, I’ve become very Elsa about things and have learned to “let it go” because my wellbeing is worth it. Ignoring the list is also one of my favourite tricks – I can always find something more interesting and fulfilling to do instead! x

  3. says

    I have been such a flake lately – bagging on things that I wouldn’t normally bag on. I think I just can’t handle all of the responsibility right now, which is fine, I accept that and know that I am just have a priority reshuffle, which I have from time to time, this is a time I normally find growth in and then I need to stop for a few days, come up with a new plan (push my nose) and surge forward!

    • Maxabella says

      Yep, I’ve totally been there. I get so slack when I’m overwhelmed… push your nose and start fresh I reckon, Holly. Or give yourself a complete break for a few days. We all need that as often as we can get it! x

  4. says

    Totally trying that nose trick from now on!
    Completely feeling the conflict between I overwhelm and underwhelm too. We ditched nippers and had a day of absolutely nothing yesterday and it was awesome. Even the kids just loved being at home all day. Great tips lovely xx

  5. says

    Nope, never pushed my nose and changed the channel, lol. I have however, decided to take some shortcuts which is the best thing ever. We are going to my brother in laws family this year for christmas and his mother has insisted on cooking EVERYTHING and all we have to do is contribute financially. Usually I protest and insist on making something. This year, I’m happily going along with it and if feels awesome :)

  6. says

    I’ve been ignoring the list hardcore the last few weeks – nothing seems to get done that allegedly needed to get done and the world has not come to a screeching halt soooooooooo I think mayhap I didn’t need to do those things anyway. Our holiday season starts on Friday, when we will be off work for the week of Thanksgiving. We’re going to kick it off right by going away for a couple of days. We haven’t taken time just for us in a long while so it will be nice to rest and relaxation before we gear up.

  7. says

    We did the ordinary on the weekend. It was great to just stay at home and do things together. Something that rarely happens as we are all busy heading off in our own directions. Great list Bron. x

  8. says

    I love Christmas with all my might, but it can do my head in sometimes. I try to get as much done in the lead-up as possible, then coast into Christmas itself. But of course that doesn’t always go to plan. The key word is “try”.
    One year we moved into our new house the day before Christmas eve, so I had to hand over Christmas lunch to my mum. I was a bit sad, but really had no choice. And that year I really enjoyed it, because I wasn’t stressing about all the little (not really important anyway) things.
    I think my battery may need recharging Bron, my nose doesn’t seem to be working. Trip to the beach tomorrow for me! x

  9. says

    I absolutely love this. Also? I reckon the ‘changing the channel’ technique might work on the Little Mister – must remember it as a parenting tool too! :)

  10. says

    I have 5 big features to write this week before we have a week away and honestly Bron there is no escaping it!!! Well unless I say no but I’ve already committed. Maybe I’ll try this list once I’m back and maybe not with work stuff xx

  11. says

    Love this. We have had a chat in our house hold and we aren’t buying adults gifts – home made gifts and charitable donations encouraged. We all have so much stuff and now we don’t have to go to the shops and buy more stuff in a stressful situation none of us need.

    • Maxabella says

      We’ve had a ‘kris kringle’ for the grown-ups for years now, Robyna. We can only spend up to $30 and we have to get the best possible present for our money. Each year it’s such a weight of our minds as well as off the earth! x

  12. says

    Much needed post Bron. Most of my crazy is work-based but even then sometimes you just need to accept that you cannot do it all.
    Been feeling the overwhelm big-time so spending today catching up on admin instead of trying to be everywhere for everyone.

    I was feeling incredibly blue last week and had a chat with a psychologist friend that reminded me it was just the end of year blues. So common, yet not necessarily recognised.

  13. says

    SNAP! I totally relate to all that you say. It happens to me every single year. I’ve pulled the pin on a few things and now have a couple of weekends off before the chaos comes charging in. We’re going to decorate the tree, do our annual Christmas card shoot and simply take a bit of time out to slow down. Goodness knows we all need it.

  14. says

    Oh Bron, I can totally relate to that overwhelming feeling at ‘this time’ of year. November came and went like a whir and my head is still exploding. I’ve made an effort to keep getting up early and exercising for my daily sanity. And I just did the nose push to reset myself. x

  15. says

    Love it! There’s been a whole lot of “all plans for the rest of the day are hereby cancelled” announcements being made when things get a little too busy and overwhelming here of late, and long behold I’ve been pleasantly surprised that life still goes on as per normal … but with more room to breathe!! I am planning on implementing the cancel-all-plans charade all year… not just for the silly season! Love this list, and have been missing reading your blog … and writing mine!! Reading is now back on track, and writing to recommence very soon I hope :) Elisa x

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