The Art Of Becoming Unbusy

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Letting Go Of Things You Have To Do: The Art Of Becoming Unbusy

     For the past several months, my to-do list has been packed. I jot down a nightly list of everything I "need" to do the next day, including eating right, getting some exercise, practicing the piano, writing either a blog post or creatively for practice, journaling, meditating, posting on my social media accounts, reading from the giant stack of books that's collected next to my bed, practicing painting, doing yoga, and running any extra errands I may have. On top of that, I've been working on three different "challenges" simultaneously: a blog post challenge, a happiness challenge, and a self-improvement challenge. All of this has left me very little time unwind, and even relaxing has started to feel like just another item to check off a list. No wonder I've been so stressed!

At the end of the day, I'm exhausted and feel guilty that I couldn't do it all.

But do I really need to do all this?

I'm a big believer in setting goals and following through. I'm interested in so many different things, and I don't want to miss out on doing things I love or attending every single function.

Sound familiar? If you, too, have been struggling to stay on top of your agenda, maybe it's time to cut back. I'm paring down my to-do list, and with these simple steps, you too can learn the art of becoming unbusy.

How To Let Go Of Your To-Do's


1. Decide what matters most: I totally get wanting to pursue your five separate passions, but maybe just try one or two for now. What do you really love to do? What will benefit you most? Believe me, I know how hard it is to choose. But think of it this way: by giving your attention to just one thing, you'll progress much quicker and achieve better results.

2. Be ruthless: Go over your to-do list, and cut out what you don't need mercilessly. Is there some chore you can do weekly instead of daily? Some task you can skip altogether? Ask yourself if it will matter that you did this thing a month from now. If not, you can probably scratch it.

3. Aim to enjoy life: There's no point in living if you can't enjoy it; keep this in mind as you ponder what need and needn't be done.

4. Be mindful: When you're going about your day, be in that moment. Take the time to really be present. Turn your cell phone off. Focus on your meals. Don't let your mind stay on work; relax.

5. Give up multi-tasking: This ties in with being mindful. When you multi-task, you actually get less done, and the quality of your work isn't as awesome as it could be. Try sticking to just one thing at a time.

6. Detox your social media: If you find social media keeps you tied up, try cutting back. Maybe you don't need to be active on as many platforms, or maybe you can limit yourself to a set amount of time browsing. I also strongly suggest turning off notifications; they can be so distracting!

8. Limit yourself: Aim to add only five items to your daily to-do list. You'll have to let go of some less important tasks, but let's be honest: they weren't getting done anyway.

7. Stick to it: Don't go back to your old ways, no matter how uncomfortable you get. Changing any habit is hard, so it's likely you'll need to practice and make a conscious effort for a while. Eventually, though, you will breathe easier.

As for me, right now I want to focus on the things I enjoy: playing the piano, reading, and painting, but for relaxation, not necessity. And although I love writing for my blog, I've realized that a 30-day blogging challenge that entails writing a post per day is just not for me; I'd rather write for fun!

How do you stay on top of your busy schedule? I'd love to hear your tips!

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