Updated: Nov 29, 2019
Alarm goes off. Coffee started. Dogs let out. Begin breakfast. Upstairs to wake up kid #1. Let dogs in. Breakfast in the oven. Back upstairs to get kid 1 out of bed and dressed. Buzzer goes off for breakfast. Back downstairs to get breakfast on the table and make lunches. Now for kid #2...and so it goes. And of course, that does not include all of the spelling, studying, signing of paperwork, and drinking of cold coffee, and cleaning up of breakfast, and driving carpool, and getting myself ready, and checking my own schedule, and making sure the sitter knows what to do after school, and the crafting that still needs to be completed for kid #1's school.
Does anybody else have a life like this, or is it just me? When did we become so busy? Why is it considered such a good thing to be busy— like it makes us more important or something?
We live in a time when we are wealthier than we have ever been and when there is more access to food, clothing, housing, and entertainment than there has ever been before. Yet depression, anxiety, heart attacks, cancer, stress, self-harm, panic, addictions, and suicide are at an all-time high.
Something is very wrong with this picture, and yet it seems that we aren’t doing much of anything to even put a dent in, let alone alter, these terrible facts. But, what if we could each do something? What if we could each say no to just one thing? To lighten our load. To take something off of our plates. That would give us more time in our day to rest— reducing our stress, even if just a little. Connecting us to those that we love, even if just a tad bit more. What if Less really is More?
It is such a simple thing, but such a true one. If we can just begin to do less and make ourselves more available to not only ourselves, but to our families and friends, and a little less available to the busyness of life and our jobs, then what would happen to our happiness? It is highly possible, even probable, that this alone would change our culture.
Maybe it is time to start evaluating all of the things that you are involved in life and to start looking at what really matters. Making a list of our top 3 to 5 priorities is a great place to start.
So you only have 100% of your time. And if you choose three priorities then you have to divide that by three, and if you have five then divide your 100% by five. You cannot exceed 100% of your time. Maybe your priorities are family, self, friends, hobbies, work... whatever you would like. Then go back and prioritize them, then assign each of those a percentage of time that you will allow yourself to spend doing each. Once you have that list, anything that comes up, you need to hold against them. If an opportunity that arises does not fit with the priorities that you have for yourself then it's an easy "no," and if it fits, then it is absolutely something that you can do— but it must remain within the percentage of time that you have allotted.
Less really is more. And the less that you have on your plate, the less stress, or heightened mental health issues, or sleepless nights, or headaches that you will encounter on a daily basis and the more that you will encounter moments of happiness in life and enjoyment, fulfillment and love, peace and enjoyment. Because the less that you have on your plate, the more time you have for harmony.