Calling all busyness addicts! Do you feel busy? Are you cramming in so many activities into your schedule that after a play date or fun activity your kids are asking, “what’s next ?” I’ve found myself in this situation, often wondering, how did it get this way? How to reduce busyness can seem impossible at times but I assure you there is a way to slow down and simplify everyday family life. Here are 5 steps to a simpler life. I bet once you try them you will not want to turn back.
Sally Clarkson, in states :Own Your Life: Living with Deep Intention, Bold Faith, and Generous Love
“Often there is subtle confusion about how life “got” this way. Nonstop activity is a cultural badge of honor that supposedly means a person is making progress. Busyness falsely promises productivity. Frankly our culture encourages us to take on more and more, and busyness and distraction can be addicting.”
Now, how do we get from that frenzied state into a space where we are able to have unhurried moments that we enjoy with our kids; moments where indoor picnics and sewing projects have time to happen, where we can lazily enjoy an afternoon outside.
5 Steps to a Simpler Life
Life requires a road map. What’s guiding your decisions? At the end of your life what characteristics about yourself do you want to shine through? Are you feeling a tug to be more involved with others, to be there more for aging parents or be more available to your young kids? Decide what main points in this stage of life are important to you and let that be your guide when making decisions to add or remove activities.
- Inventory your Activities
If some of your activities don’t fall in line with your main priorities in life right now, find ways to cut back or remove yourself. At this point it’s not about giving up on these things but finding a time in your life that may be better suited for these endeavors. Balance is a word often easier said than done.
- Create Space
Plan a day or an afternoon a week that is completely free of errands or activities. Often things come up and it’s hard to say no at first, but allowing yourself this freedom will be so worth it. Others will begin to respect your boundary of having that down time and you will begin to feel that space that allows you time to think and ponder life.
- Plan Ahead
Is your upcoming week going to be hectic and there is nothing you can do about it? Well, that’s life, and our best attempts to create a less hectic life nonetheless can be thwarted sometimes. When this happens, look ahead to see what little pockets of time you can savor to yourself to keep your sanity. Instead of cramming something into those times during a busy week, look to find ways to unwind and relax a bit. When the little ones take a nap, take one yourself, or find a good book to curl up on the couch with. You deserve it!
- Find Contentment in the Present
With all the ideas, aspirations, plans and “to-do’s” we can lose focus of what matters more than anything else. The present can so easily slip away when we are too busy. The memories of the “here and now” can be lost when we are not slowing down our pace. There is so much to cherish from the presence of our growing children, the feel of their soft plump cheeks on ours, the security of a loved ones arms around us and just simply being PRESENT in the present life God has provided. There is so much to be grateful for and content with. For more on how to be present in life click here.
When we attempt to free up our time more, we may be met with some protests from others, but I think that when we take a step back and make the choice to live more simply, we will find a space in life to breathe, to simply be, and that, my friends, is a wonderful thing.