An alternative to life’s never ending to-do list

We live in a busy world and out busyness can seem like real drudgery sometimes. When life is dominated by ticking off as many mundane chores as you can from your checklist, then life has lost its spark. Enough is enough; it’s summertime and it’s time to have fun! I’m not going to tell you about some fancy pants task manager, instead here are my top three suggestions to shake up life’s incessant to do list.

1. Outsource what you do not enjoy. It’s common to think that we should complete as many of the tasks in our life ourselves as we can  – because they are things we are able to do. Actually though for productivity and enjoyment, your time is best spent on the things you are good at and enjoy doing.  Don’t let mundane chores steal all your precious time. What are the things in your week that hang over you, take up too much time, that you don’t relish?

There are endless possibilities for outsourcing, from personal clothes shoppers, cleaners, companies that deliver ingredients and recipes or home-cooked meals, accountants  (maybe you can do your tax return yourself but do you really want to!), VAs (virtual assistants), a personal trainers etc.  Employ others to do their thing, and give yourself more time for what matters to you. This is part of orchestrating a better work-life balance.

2. Prioritise playtime. Yes indeed I am suggesting to you – the busy professional that you are, that you play and have fun!  Don’t tell me that singing along to your favourite power ballad (or other guilty pleasure music) doesn’t make the washing up more fun.  Or that a bit of silliness with your 9-year-old, or your partner, or your best friend is not going to lighten your mood, no matter how much you have on your plate. According to Dr. Brene Brown, the researcher, and author, ‘doing things just because they’re fun and not because they’ll help achieve a goal, is vital to human development.’ We need play for our own health and happiness.

3. More mindful moments. We can get bogged down in seriousness, and overwhelmed by all that needs doing. Stop worrying, busying and planning, instead take a few moments in your day to be really present. Fully savour the food you are eating, notice the blossoms on the trees, feel the ease with which your body moves as you walk. Mix in some gratitude to power it up, and you will start connecting to the simplicity and joyousness of your life even more. Those little magic mindful moments are a great way to lighten up and get some perspective.

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