Right 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
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?