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Life is not meant to be done at full speed twenty-four-seven. It can take a long time to learn how to stop being so busy when you have been at it for a long time. Espeashly when you are chasing goals.
It’s that long drive through the mountains through Cade’s Cove or the Smoky Mountains. You don’t try to rush either of those things. You slow down and enjoy what is going past you.
As much as we hold being busy or productive as a badge of honor that is not sustainable for the long hull. Sure some people can work longer and hard than others because they enjoy their work but even the most “workaholic type person” needs to take a break at some point.
You can’t expect to do anything right or get work done if you are exhausted. You need to learn how to stop being busy and find ways to manage your energy better to be more productive and flourish within your side hustle, backyard farm, or personal life.
Let’s get into some way you can make that happen.
Learn to Let Go
Ouch!! This one is hard for me too. But it applies to a lot of different situations. So many people are natural fixers, especially if you are running a household, taking care of your family, and making sure the livestock gets fed.
But there are two ways you need to let things go. Let go of the things that are filling your mind for your mental health. And learn to let go of the unnecessary tasks in your everyday life to create peace in your heart and mind.
You don’t need to be in control of everything. In fact, the only thing you are even allowed to control is yourself. Someone shared a quote with me that is such a good reminder.
Not everything that weighs you down is yours to carry.
And it’s so true because women especially will hold on to things that we really have no business carrying around. We put that weight on ourselves that is simply unnecessary.
You can’t possibly do everything on your own in a realistic amount of time. Learn to let go of control, especially in areas you don’t need to keep your hand so tightly wrapped around the steering wheel, and maybe even let go of some things that are causing you pain or frustration.
Stop Doing The The Things That Don’t Give You The Lifestyle You Want
I see this all the time in the backyard farming or homesteading space. People do projects, raise animals, or try to grow a skill that they really don’t care about because “that’s what they do”. Doing more tasks becomes a status symbol for the backyard farmer, homesteader, or even the stay-at-home mom.
If you are feeling busy and overwhelmed or you are wanting to take something off your plate I want you to do this exercise.
Write everything you have to do on a piece of paper. Things like laundry, dinner, work, making money, showering, sleeping, and sweeping the floor. Things like that.
Then take out your calendar or use google calender to time block those things out EVERY DAY that you do those things.
Then take another piece of paper and write down everything that you do but is not necessary. Things like taking care of farm animals, gardening, canning, making bread, and “researching” one more thing, anything else you do that really is not a requirement.
Then look at the gaps in the calendar you already started time blocking and fill in the gaps with the things that make you happy. Notice I did not say the things you “have to do” because if we are being truly honest there is not a whole lot that we “have to do” but we find ourselves over-committed.
Create A Realistic Schedule
Oh, this is a good one. Are you guilty of expecting yourself to get 27 things done in a day? I used to do this a lot until I started using a planner that has the hours for every day listed in it.
Even if you don’t time block being able to see what you are expecting of yourself in a single day will really help you be able to see when your goals are just a bit out of align meant with what’s possible.
If you don’t set aside enough time to finish certain projects or tasks, you will always feel like you are rushing to get things done and that is no way to live life.
If you need help learning how to create a schedule that works with a lifestyle that is unpredictable read this post about how to create a schedule that works for a stay-at-home wife. Even if that isn’t you it still has some great insight into creating a schedule that can be crazy.
Create Proper Routines and Take Breaks
Always take breaks and schedule more time than you think you need. Make sure you know exactly how much time you need for each task and always include a little more time than you need to account for the unpredictable. Cause let’s be honest that’s the real life of a momma, backyard farmer, and side hustler.
Taking breaks does not mean waste time.
Taking breaks does not have to mean go be lazy for 30 minutes five times a day. For example, I save chores like doing the laundry, and dishes, planning dinner, feeding time, and other tasks that are 10 minutes or less for the times when I need to get up from creating content or answering emails.
You can choose to schedule time for these things or have a list of tasks that you need to do next to your work hours and any time you are feeling like you need a break go tackle one of those things.
Leave Easy and Mindless for Last
These are the tasks don’t need your full energy and attention, so don’t give it to them. It may seem more logical to go ahead and get the “quick and easy things” out of the way. But this means you will be using your most productive hours and energy on activities that really don’t matter—giving you less energy for more important things.
While I am not as physically ready to get moving in the morning my brain can be pretty creative with my writing in the morning. So every morning I take my cup of coffee to the computer and start writing a blog post. I’m not going to use those early hours for creating social graphics or something that I don’t have to think as hard at.
Do It or Else
In other words, create things or activities that are non-negotiable for you, just like how you can’t live your whole day without going to the bathroom. You can make this same concept in every area of your life. Don’t permit yourself not to do it.
Fully understand the consequences and remember your “why” for establishing the goal in the first place. As you keep making yourself do it no matter what, it eventually will become a habit you can’t or won’t want to break.
You Have To REALLY Want It
This is something that people struggle with because there are things that they want to make a habit in their daily lives but they really don’t want it. It’s more of an ” I really should do that” and the reality is the consequences of not doing the thing just isn’t worth it yet. You have to be the one to want it for yourself.
Realize It Takes Practice
You are not going to be good at learning to let go of the things you don’t need to be doing. Or learning to look at your schedule and say no to something that seems good or a nice thing to do for someone.
It takes some time to retrain your brain to remember that you are not trying to create a busy schedule. But if you fall off the bandwagon as soon as you catch it. Course correct and move forward. Don’t waste time feeling bad or beating yourself up.
In the end, you need to be realistic, honest, and evaluate your actions to be sure they are helping you sustain your energy, motivation, and determination.
It might seem like you are missing out on reaching your goals in life by slowing down even just a hair. Or you could feel like you are going to be failing someone you love if you don’t do everything they ask you to do. But the people you love the most will enjoy bing around you much more if you are not rushing throughout your day trying to get just… one… more… thing… checked off the list.
You will have a better quality of life if you learn how to be less busy and be more present in your every day. It takes practice to learn how to stop being so busy and you have to teach your brain that it’s ok too. You might catch yourself slipping back into your old habits have to be like “ok no, no, we aren’t doing that.” If you start to feel guilty remind yourself that you don’t owe anyone to remain busy.