Consider the mindset that you enjoy on vacation. You are free to set your own schedule, not worrying about what you have to do today, not worrying about the time — just being — minus the anxiety.
Now imagine the mindset of being busy at work or in any of your important endeavors: doing one task while being anxious about many others, worrying that you may not be doing the right task, interrupted by others, distracted and stressed.
These are two different mindsets, and yet, what if we could enjoy the vacation mind while working?
Well, we would need to forego the lazing around, but the mindset could be the same. This has the potential to result in a more sane lifestyle, not just living for the weekend or the little vacation time we have, but the ability to navigate life so that we are truly happier every day.
How can this be done? We would need to practice and develop a few small habits, that will make more sense as we go along.
WHAT WOULD THE VACATION MIND LOOK LIKE AT WORK?
Often just thinking about work tasks can alter our mindset from relaxation to anxiety: worry for what we need to do, deadlines, dealing with difficult people, information overload, being on the right task, even concerns as to whether we may be missing out on something important. A life, perhaps :-)
A vacation mindset lets the anxiety go and is simply present in the current moment. Time is less important, enjoying yourself is the priority. You let go of the anxiety. You aren’t worried about getting it all done, or doing the right thing right now, or all the things you have to do later.
You are immersed in the task you are working on and are able to set a pace of doing it so that you can enjoy the present moment.
So how would this look? You choose to work on a particular task, perhaps writing something. You, obviously, have quite a list of things to do but this is the thing you decide to work on at the moment.
Could there be other things you should be doing instead? Of course, there always are and will continue to be. Imagine for a moment how efficient you can become if what you are doing and what you are focused on are actually one and the same.
I would venture to say that several things could happen.
You might find that you actually enjoy what you are doing when you aren't constantly having to pull your focus back from what you are concerned about.... or maybe because you don't want to do the hard work of focusing on the task at hand, your mind wanders (and takes your fingers on the keyboard with it), to shop or research online.
This is where it is easier to lose focus and get even more behind in the project that we are working on.
As for the best thing to do right now, the moment of perfect certainty never comes, so just pick something and do it in a manner that affords you time to be intentional, consistent, and to apply your level of expertise and experience. No short cuts. Be ready to sign your name to the final draft.
If you want to touch on a healthy dose of self-esteem, this is the thing that gets you there. There is no amount of framed or engraved awards that will ever bring the self-satisfaction of that of a job we've done so well that we are excited to see it again and again, revisit the effort and enjoyment as well as share the finished product.
By practicing being able to enjoy the task at hand we are able to be more present, which is must less exhausting than attempting to juggle too many plates.
Let other tasks take their rightful place, the time to do them will come. Immerse yourself in the current task. Focus on enjoying yourself as you do it.
At times, you may mentally step back, come up for air and take a look at the bigger picture, and then return back to the project. This is what I like to call “laser-focus”.
And you can do this when you talk with a co-worker or client. You can do this with an important email, or processing paperwork, small tasks, designing something, programming, creating art, helping a patient or student. This is a learned strategy. It is a discipline that is easily doable.
However, we can’t just flip a switch and be good at these things today … they do take practice, like any other skill, but in the long run, I can say that they’re worth practicing, even if you never master them, because they can transform your relationship with work and any important endeavor that you undertake.
Here are some helpful practices that you can consider working on a little every day:
-Pick something, get immersed in the act of being creative. Focus on the enjoyment of creating something that is uniquely your idea. Being able to work from this relaxing mindset affords you the time to think with a higher level of energy. This will play out in everything you endeavor to do.
-Let go of anxieties. This takes practice. Learn to recognize when you begin to feel anxious and notice the source of the anxiety. This is typically focusing on an outcome you want to happen, such as, looking good in front of others, being highly productive, controlling a situation, etc. Realize the desired outcome is merely a fantasy, and other outcomes can work out just as well. Realize that holding on to this fantasy of how it should turn out causes stress. Let go and restore your creative energy mindset.
-Come up for air and see the big picture. Diving in is goal, and, it is also helpful to step back at times, and assess what is going on around you. Notice people who are nearby and if anyone needs your attention, how you’re sitting (and whether you’re sitting too long), etc. Is there an appointment you should get to? See the big picture, then go back into immersion.
-Be less worried about time. Time is important but we can be mindful of it while not being “lorded over” by it. It matters that we show up on time for appointments we have, paying attention to completion deadlines, billing clients etc. There are times when we can waste time worrying about the time we need to do or not be doing something. Practice a balance of being aware of when time matters and when there can be some leeway.
You may be considering if this is truly doable. The answer depends on you. You’ll be surprised what you can do — if you have the “want to”.
At the end of the day, you'll feel more energetic over the good things you've accomplished. This will help you to be less stressed, treat yourself (and others) better and ultimately, to create a life you don't need to escape from.
There are so many ways we can let our 'have-to-do' items (we have to work to make a living) spill all over our 'would-like-to-do' items.
When we aren't fully focused on what we're doing, we can spend an inordinate amount of time worrying and stressing over what we could've-should've done differently.
We can pretty much eliminate this drama by simply practicing doing our tasks (if we have a career, our own business, or are retired and have personal projects) in a manner that allows us to be vacationally-minded.
When I think about the truth behind taking a calmer pace, besides the tortoise and the hare, I am reminded of a story my mother shared with me years ago when I first began driving.
My mother had a lead foot... and she treated it like a badge. LOL. However, when I started driving, she had some teachable moments to share.
She told me about driving home to our hometown, Pembroke, Georgia, every weekend when she was working 2 hours away. Numerous times she had gotten warnings after being pulled over by a police officer, and occasionally, a speeding ticket.
After one particular time when she received a ticket, she brought up to her supervisor how frustrating her drive was: there was no interstate (at the time), all the small towns with their speed limit signs and the endless redlights.
He nodded in a kind and knowing manner and mentioned that in a situation such as she had described that passing everyone and being in a constant hurry really was a waste of time and stress. He told her to pay attention on her next drive to all the cars she passed. He said she may be surprised to find that at the traffic lights when she had to stop, she would likely see a number of the same cars she had passed, lined up right behind her. She accepted the challenge and noted that he was absolutely correct!
I still exercise this practice today because I love taking a back road. You can't miss me when I do, I'm the car you'll pass and who will leisurely pull up behind you at the next traffic light. So when you look back in your rearview mirror, just throw up your hand and remember I'm smiling right back at you.... with a little less stress :-)
Until next time....
Sheri Geyer is a Relationship Coach for Christian Women*
*And women seeking to learn more about a relationship with Jesus Christ!
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#Life-by-Design, #Unbusy #BusynessThiefofLife
If you are anything like I was, you are busy because you want to be or because you don’t know how to be un-busy. You are busy out of misdirected guilt because you think if you do enough, you will be enough. When you decide that it is acceptable to create a life-by-design, you can eliminate the thief that busyness can become, and start doing things that matter. You can talk about your meaningful day instead of ranting about your busy schedule. Decide today that you are enough, even if you never accomplish another thing that causes heads to turn. You are still enough!Read more...