Life can be overwhelming. The pace of society is faster than ever, and as rewarding opportunities present themselves, so too do more time-sinking responsibilities and obligations.
That’s why, instead of suggesting you add anything to your plate, I’m going to tell you about five things I’ve recently stopped doing. I have more time and energy, and I’m closer to living my values and meeting my goals. I hope after reading this, you will be too.
1. Putting things on the back burner.
I used to be the queen of the back burner. I had a planner I organized with colored tabs and highlighters. I had five major statuses, and “back burner” was one of them.
Warren Buffett is, allegedly, not a fan of the back burner. In this article, Mayo Oshin details how Warren helped his own private pilot to focus on his top five life goals and forget the rest. In daily practice, that means focusing on your most important specific, measurable goals and avoiding the outliers until you’ve reached them.
A specific example of this is the blog post you’re reading right now. I’ve been meaning to update my blog for months. I talk about it all the time to my trusted business associates. I know it can help build my platform, connecting me with readers and people who might book my services. Yet, I never made the time to do it. Here I am now, writing from my phone while my kids nap. So far, it’s been easier to do this than not to do it. And that brings me to my next point…
2. Making excuses.
While I wasn’t blogging, I was busy making excuses about why. I told myself it was because I didn’t have anything important to say, or because I didn’t have time. Meanwhile, I was browsing social media and crafting “witty” tweets. Believe me, we all have more time than we think, we just blow more of it than we’re ready to admit.
I’ll make this simple. If you don’t want to do something, and it isn’t a non-negotiable item on the way to meeting your goals, don’t do it. Don’t say you want to do it but you [insert excuse here]. You’re only hurting yourself. It’s either important and you need to do whatever it takes to get it done, or it isn’t.
This one is making a huge splash in pop culture lately, with books like, Girl, Stop Apologizing by Rachel Hollis.
I hear a lot of people misinterpreting it, though, so I’ll take a stab at simplifying it. To stop apologizing does not mean you have to stop caring, or being considerate, or being accountable for your behavior.
More so, it means you should be self-aware, intentional with your language, and confident in what you bring to the table. Don’t apologize for things outside of your control, or to make someone feel better when you aren’t really sorry. Cop-outs tend to obscure the truth, and the truth tends to save time and heartache in the long run.
4. Fearing rejection.
This one is far easier said than done, but it’s very important. You will not be universally liked. Your work will not be universally liked. There is no way to change that, and there is no way that I’m wrong. Forget about being liked and focus instead on two things: being yourself, and amplifying your joy instead of tempering it. Pursue your passions. Create. As long as you aren’t hurting yourself or others, then no matter who you are, what you say, or what you do, you deserve to be liked for your authentic self. It feels so much better to be known and loved than it does to pine after people who won’t ever change their opinion of you unless you change to fit them (and even then, it still seldom works).
I bet you think I’m kidding about this one. The good news is, I’m not. The chores in your life are negotiable. A good friend of mine recently told me her laundry sits in the laundry basket until her husband and kids need it, then they pull it out and eventually, it dwindles down and then fills back up. Apparently this bothered her. To me, it sounded ideal. If no one else in her household seems to care if the clothes are folded or hung up, why does she? Chore eliminated, in my opinion.
What about chores that must be done, like doing the dishes or paying bills? Sometimes, you can get someone else to do it. There’s nothing wrong with asking a partner for help, and the fast-growing gig economy means there are people available for just about every kind of help, sometimes even a la carte. If there’s no one else to do it, you can either try to think outside the box to eliminate it, or turn it from a chore to a task you want to do by changing things up. Maybe you can listen to an audiobook while you load the dishwasher, or treat yourself to a glass of wine whenever you pay the bills. Find ways to stop doing chores and start living your best life.
What do you think? Can you stop doing any of these in your daily life? Do you have more to add to the list? Let me know in the comments, and if you enjoyed this, please subscribe and share!
*Interested in more time management tips? I also wrote about it here.
Until next time,