Sheri Matthews is an all-around all-star! Personally and professionally, she’s winning at life and it’s not through just her own success, but the success she inspires others to achieve. She is a decorated distance runner, certified run and life coach, my co-founder of Gals Who Run and a Corporate Wellness Consultant in San Diego. She brings greater health, wellness and balance directly to the employees of some of our largest organizations. She’s the local FitBit Ambassador and quite frankly, just about everybody’s favorite spin instructor. Through our parallel lives, it’s no surprise that we’re not just colleges, but also great friends. I’m honored she has found time to share her words and inspiration on Eat. Drink & be Skinny. Enjoy!
A friend sent me something a few months ago that just hit the nail on the head – one of those “ah-ha” moments. The light bulb went on – yes, this is what I’ve been talking about! I had to share! This was it:
In today’s world we are connected 24/7, access to messages anywhere, there really isn’t any “down time” or being “off.” That is, unless you take control of it, set boundaries, and prioritize.
I can certainly relate and have times that I feel of overwhelmed and found myself using the “B-word” too frequently. Not that one. This one: “busy.” I hear someone say it E-v-e-r-y day! Have you thought it today? But, (another bad “b”) here you are reading a Facebook post on “How to be less busy”. Bingo! (See what I did there?)
Last December I set out a jar in front of a group of people, and throughout the week, asked them to put $1 in it, every time they said or thought “busy.” I had a lot of dollars by the end of the week. These dollars were then donated to a participants holiday charity fund, Samaritan Purse. Something to try in your life of office!
Here’s a few simple ways to eliminate the B word in your day to day life.
1. Make a list.
In order of importance, not of your to-do’s, but of what you value most in life at the moment. I literally keep a handwritten list in my wallet of the five things I value most in my life:
- My career
- My BF
- Community/elevate others
My career has come second to friends. My BF has come second at times, but since I want to get married, it moved up. In other words, the list has shifted. Judge if you may, my social friends, my family – right now are not my list (and I do think they are the best)! Your list may have kids, money, fun, faith, these are only for me. If I don’t have my health – nothing works. If things in my day do not fall in my list, they don’t make the cut, for the most part.
2. Re-think your calendar.
Do you look your calendar, meetings, or to-do lists, and plan your day around it the best you can? Stop right there, take everything off, go back and read the list you made in #1, and arrange your calendar based on those five things.
3. Change how you talk to yourself – you are listening.
When we start sentences with “I have to _______ (fill in any task)” even our body tenses up. A good friend/colleague taught me to say it this way: Say the same items in your day with “I get to __________ because ________ (and why it’s blessing /good thing). It’s technically the thing weighing on you, with new language and a new appreciation for it.
For example: “I get to drive my children to 2 different schools tomorrow because I have a car and healthy children” (enter sigh of relief here).
4. Expand your vocabulary.
Learn the word “no” or “no thank you.” Respectfully declining without a reason is OK. Try “This time I need to pass.” Ignoring or being flaking after committing is disrespectful, so best to be upfront that with a simple “no.” It doesn’t need to be immediate and you can be kind while you say “no.”
5. Less is more.
Clean house. Not just your physical space, your e-space. Rummaging through emails was killing my morning. Sign up for free with “Unroll me” and get 1 email a day with all the things you like, in one email. It’s amazing.
Simply set a time to set it aside. Be present. Take a deep breath. Your email will be there at 8am tomorrow morning. We all wear many hats, and wearing one at a time is much easier. Most days I’m in corporate offices, coaching Gals Who Run, planning Fitbit Locals, being a girlfriend, maintaining friendships without feeling like a complete failure, squeeze in fun and haircut once in a while, and even that can just be overwhelming…
Wait… these are GREAT reasons we are (or I am) “busy.” *Repeat tip #3.
I get to share tips with healthy minded people like you because I enjoy seeing others lead their best life.
Happy B-word-less living,
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