We, moms, are busy people. I find myself thinking and saying “I’m so busy” way too often. I cringe when I hear myself utter this phrase. However, it’s true. Like everyone else, I’m trying to keep up in many different areas: my day job, my side writing hustle, my children’s events, my home, and my personal growth. However, when I’m on my deathbed, and my loved ones are thinking of a phrase to describe me, I will be so disappointed if they etch, “She was so busy” on my tomb. It’s a dark thought, right? But I’m not kidding. I know I’m not alone in feeling like life is a whirlwind lately. In my quest to unbusy myself, I found some tips and tricks to do just that.
Unplug from the Busy
It’s no secret that I’d be more productive if I could get rid of the notifications from social media. However, social media is how I stay connected to my loved ones who live far away. I also need it for my business. However, I force myself to unplug by leaving my phone in a different room in my house while trying to read for pleasure. I keep it in my car while I hike the trails in the forest or silence it while my yoga instructor gets me in the zen-like zone. Although it is my partner in most things, separating myself from constant notifications helps me get centered, healthy, and be less busy.
Nothing can get my life in order more than an old fashioned “to-do” list. This old school organizational tactic never fails me. I shut down my computer and turn off my phone to begin listing. It helps me remember my most important obligations and satisfies me while I check things off the list. Since I’m a teacher and a small business owner, I like to categorize by the following categories: school, business, home, personal, and list what’s going on under each. For some reason, this form of organizational calm is my favorite and most productive way to focus so I’m not as busy.
Unbusy the Calendar
There was so much talk about Marie Kondo-ing a person’s house. Many experts recommend doing this with the calendar. When I feel overwhelmed with responsibilities, I look over my calendar and determine what can go.
Laura VanderKam author of I Know How She Does It says, “You find yourself dreading lots of tasks on your calendar or you don’t have the energy for things you normally like to do. And if you have a lot of activities in your life that you feel like you’d pay good money to offload—that’s probably a sign too!”
Reflecting on my responsibilities helps me prioritize my week ahead. I can get less “busy” this way in no time.
Exercise makes everything better. I may not remember this before or during my run, but after a good workout session, all things seem possible. A great playlist and an open road help my mind center. No matter the exercise, research proves that movement is good for our brains in terms of memory, positive outlook, and creativity.
Sometimes, unbusying my life requires me to simplify, unplug, and get moving. What are your tricks to making yourself less busy and more productive?