Do you ever feel like you’re speeding through life, struggling to get to your next destination? Stop drowning in your to-do list and take the time to ground yourself.
Our lives are so rushed. We’re trying to get a list of tasks done, and finish as much as we can each day. We’re speeding along in our lives to our next destination, and rush what we need to do so we can move on to the next.
At the end of the day, we’re exhausted.
Our minds are over-stressed from being busy. We don’t have time for what’s important to us, know what we really want to be doing, or how we want to spend time with our loved ones. For example, while Sundays are meant for relaxation, you may find yourself instead with a big list of things to do – laundry, grocery shop, meal plan, clean, exercise. That can get easily overwhelming, and cause you to get grumpy when you can’t finish everything on the to-do list.
But we don’t have to live like this.
We can enjoy a simpler, content life by simply choosing to. That’s what mindfulness is about: being mindful of what we are doing in the present moment, taking our time, and only thinking about what can be done in the present moment.
Here are a few questions to ask yourself the next time you feel stressed about a big “to-do” list.
1. WHAT IS REALLY IMPORTANT?
It may be family, a spouse, your children, doing well at your job, or running a ten minute mile. Step back and look at what’s really important to you. What do you really want to be doing? Then do it.
2. WHAT ARE YOUR COMMITMENTS?
We have way too many commitments in today’s world. We can’t do everything that we say we’re going to do. Just accept this. Do what’s important to you and eliminate what isn’t.
3. HOW MUCH ARE YOU TRYING TO DO PER DAY?
We only have 24 hours in a day. Don’t fill up your day with tasks. If you try to do ten tasks per day (and fail), do three important ones instead. Save the others for the next day. Complete your three tasks with mindfulness, and don’t try to rush through them.
4. DO YOU LEAVE TIME FOR TRANSITION?
Scheduling things back-to-back is a huge mistake. Tasks usually take longer than we anticipate and leaves us feeling rushed and stressed. Leave a good sized gap between your tasks and focus on each one.
5. WHAT CAN YOU ELIMINATE?
Simplify your to-do list down to the essentials. Again, you can’t do everything. Even if you could, more things will probably pop up. Do you really need to cook dinner, fold laundry, sweep the floor, and do the dishes in a couple hours? What can you save for later or tomorrow? What can you delegate to others?
Remember, it’s all about slowing down and enjoying every task. Whatever you’re doing, do it with a sense of calm. Whether it be taking a shower, cooking dinner, or driving, just slow down. You do not need to complete this task at record speed. Pay attention, instead of thinking about what’s ahead. It may sound silly to “be in the moment” while you’re brushing your teeth, but this is the simplest step you can take to become more mindful in your life.
Simplify your life, and start paying attention to all of the little moments you’ve been gifted.
Adapted from the original article.
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Emily Weeks, RDN, LD is a nationally-recognized nutrition and culinary expert based in Fort Worth, TX. Emily believes the path to a nourished, happy life is to develop a healthy relationship with food, our minds and our bodies. She focuses on helping others achieve a life of balance and harmony through mindfulness and nourished bodies. Read more from Emily at Zen and Spice.