I am very fortunate to have created a life I love for myself. However, at this time of year when the pre -winter blues echo in the back of my mind, I often find that I am disgruntled, less than satisfied with my life. When this niggling feeling started to get the better of me I decided to step back and take an objective look at what was going on. What I found, and the answer to my problems what both shockingly simple and easy to fix.
I wasn’t doing enough of what I love in life
You see on paper, at first glance it was hard to see. Because if you look around online the “do more of what you love” theory relates to work life. And sure enough, my work life contains many elements of the things I love. Coaching clients, teaching, writing even creativity in my weekly inspirational quotes, learning, and research. On paper, I am doing it right. However, I had fallen into the classic entrepreneur trap. I wasn’t applying the same principle to my own life, my life outside of work. To be fair it’s easy to do. Even if you are not an entrepreneur. Life sometimes just feels like all work and no play. And isn’t it funny that in a society today that recognizes work/life balance as incredibly important, that all the advice out there to re-address the balance in your life is geared only to one side of that equation. Doing what you love at work.
Now I know that there is little time in the day what with work, kids, shopping, washing, social commitments etc. However, if you want to have less burnout, more energy and a better quality of life it is seriously important to prioritise doing more of what you love in life. And I mean on a weekly basis. The key here is that with the limited time available (depending on your life) to prioritise doing more of what you love has to be qualitative focused rather than quantitative. Basically prioritise by doing more of the things you love that really boost your energy in a focused manner, rather than doing lots of things you love in an unfocused way.
Take these two examples and you will see what I mean:
Fiona is a working mum with 2 kids and a large social circle. Fiona loves to see her friends regularly. So 3 times a week she meets for a quick lunch with a friend during her break or for a coffee after work before picking up her kids. Now even though this is making use of her time efficiently the quality of the time spent with her friends is low. She often finds herself during these times thinking about the next thing she has to do and is not really present. As a result, friendships decline and she finds the times she spends with friends don’t really satisfy her and have become a chore.
Rebecca is also a working mum with 2 kids and a large social circle who she loves spending time with. To ensure the time she spends with her friends is qualitative she cuts down on how often they see each other and prioritising spending more time together where they can really enjoy each other’s company. She will sometimes invite her friends to spend the weekend away together with their families or arrange childcare to have an evening out together. She dedicates one hour a week to call a friend when she does not have other tasks in the way. As a result, friendships strengthen and she finds the times she spends with friends satisfy her and enrich her life.
Qualitative wins over quantitative. But how to implement this in your life? I found that a few simple questions helped me to step back and make the adjustments I needed to enrich my life by prioritising doing more of what I love. It will take you 5 minutes tops and both save and give you the energy you need to enjoy the coming darker months of the year.
- What things do you love to do? Brainstorm a list
- Which if these things truly enrich your life? Candy crush and Netflix may be fun, but do they truly relax or recharge your energy? Eliminate from your list all the activities that don’t really give you energy.
- Identify which of these things you want to do on a weekly, monthly or yearly basis
- For each item on your list workout how you can prioritize this in your life. This includes what will you have to sacrifice or delegate in order to prioritize doing what you love.
- Accept you can’t do it all. So refer to your list each month and choose one thing you will prioritize in a day / week and one thing you will do for that month.
This month I am prioritizing my self care by making sure I do something creative (which is not writing) each week, stretching out before bed each night and having an adventure weekend with Mr T. In order to do so I am sacrificing my Netflix series binging, pre-bedtime social media trawling and some money to pay our cleaner so I can have a guilt-free adventure with the man I love. How will you prioritise doing more of what you love this month?
Have a wonderful week <3