I recently asked a group of busy moms what their biggest challenge was with regard to doing the things they enjoy in life. Nearly unanimously, time was cited as the biggest hindrance.
Yes, the age-old “I’m too busy to do what makes ME happy”. I call this the “Myth of the Busy Mom”, and I talked about why this is a myth at some length in a teleconference I did last week.
I too used to buy into this myth, and it pretty much kept me in a box, stressed out, doing all the things I thought I had to do, never getting it all done, and doing none of the things I actually wanted to do….those things that made my heart sing.
Oh, don’t get me wrong. Once in a while I did the things I enjoyed, it’s just that they weren’t a regular part of my life.
I finally broke free of this myth, and my life has never been the same since. So what did I learn that allowed me to experience more joy in my life because I could do those things my heart longed for every day?
1) Get clear on what is most important to you
Clarity is king (or in the mom’s case, queen!). One thing that trips up many people is not knowing what you really want, or what is truly most important to you. How often do you take the time to get really clear on things that are most meaningful and important to you? Those things that truly do make your heart sing?
Without this level of clarity, you can’t possibly bring these things into your life. What you focus on expands. If you are not even aware of what you want, you can’t focus on it, and it can’t expand.
By taking the time to get really clear on what you want, you start your higher source in motion to bring you the opportunities to experience those things you most want. One way to get clear about what you want is follow the Passion Test process. I will be offering a limited number of Passion Test sessions soon, so email me firstname.lastname@example.org if you want me to save a space for you! This is the best process I’ve ever experienced to bring clarity to what will bring you joy at a heart and soul level. Alternatively, you can sign up to listen to my free call “Awaken Your Passion: 4 Little Known Secrets to Rediscovering Your Passion and Purpose.” You can sign up right here: http://www.ishinekids.com/passion.html
2) Chunk out and schedule your time each week to do the things you enjoy
I am one of those people who can keep my huge “to do” list in my head. And yet, I’ve come to realize that vast amounts of energy are freed up and more actually gets done when I write things down.
And even more happens and more energy is freed up when I take what I’ve written down and block out time to complete it in my calendar. This is what allows me to have the time to do those things that bring me joy. When I schedule them in, they happen!
It still amazes me that when I take 10-15 minutes on Sunday night to make my list for the week, and then schedule those things into my calendar, I get stuff done! Lots of stuff! And my energy is much more present and clear in the process.
Why is writing down and scheduling your to do list so effective?
First, it brings you the kind of laser focus that you don’t get when you allow your to do list to bounce around in your head. Energy flows where attention goes. By writing down and scheduling your list, you are focusing your attention in a specific way, and by doing so, you are much more likely to complete those things on your list.
Second, once you’ve written down and scheduled the items from your to do list, you can let it go, so to speak, until it is time to complete it. This saves oceans of energy and brain time that can be used on other, more enjoyable things.
3) Appreciate how much you actually get done every day, rather than bemoan all you didn’t
When you lay your head down on the pillow at night, are you thinking how wonderful it is that you got done what you did? Or are thinking about all of the things you didn’t finish, or didn’t even start?
Moms are great and beating themselves up. Take it from me….I was in this place for years. I was really good at placing all of my attention on the things that didn’t get done, rather than on the things that did get done. And guess what that created? More things each day that didn’t get done!
To break this cycle, commit to praising yourself each night for all of the things you did get done. Feel the gratitude and joy that you crossed those things off your list! And if any of those things included something that was important and joyful to you, give yourself a little extra pat on the back. You deserve it.
4) Find ways to do less of the things that don’t add to your joy
We all have those things on our lists that we feel we must do, but that we really don’t enjoy doing. You may feel that you have to do them anyway, but that not necessarily the case!
Look again at your list. Do you really have to do all of those things yourself? For example, your kids may need lunches made, but do youneed to do it? Which parts can they do?
Children gain confidence and competence when given responsibility, and once they can do it all themselves, it is one less thing you need to do. What responsibilities can you give your children that can lighten your load?
What about your activity runs, driving this child here, and that child there? Is there a way to carpool with another family to minimize the trips? This has been a huge time saver for me, and has created time for me to fit in my meditation, which is one of my great joys (not to mention that it keeps me calm when I am transporting a car load of kids!). But I never would have considered this option had it not been for a couple of other moms who brought up the idea.
Not only has sharing car pool responsibilities opened up space for me to use the time in a way I enjoy, but it feels good to be in community with others, sharing responsibilities and support.
I challenge you to look at your list and see where you might be able to create community and receive support from others. And then be sure to use the time you’ve created to do something that brings you joy!
5) Realize that time is relative
I’m not about to explain Einstein’s Theory of Relativity here, but I’m sure you know those people who seem to be so busy, take on so much, and accomplish even more (and don’t you just envy them a little?). And then there are those who seem to not have much going on, with lots of time in their day, and yet they accomplish very little.
We all have 24 hours in a day, yet have you noticed that time seems to expand and contract based on what we put in front of it? We can have just enough time to accomplish 2 tasks, and we can have just enough time to accomplish 10 tasks, yet it is the same 24 hours. How is that possible?
I’m sure you’ve even experienced the feeling that time is flying, as well as the feeling that time is dragging. Usually, when we’re enjoying ourselves, we perceive that time is going fast, and when we are bored or doing something we don’t enjoy, we perceive that time is going slowly.
So considering all of these ideas, what if you changed your perception of time? Could that make a difference in how you prioritize and experience your day?
I’m not going to tell you what belief to adopt about time, but I will suggest that rather than telling yourself “there is never enough time to do x”, how about telling yourself “I have enough time to get the important things done and enjoy myself in the process”. Your dominant thoughts eventually become your actions and your experience of life.
If you want more time to experience the things that lift your soul and bring you joy, then start affirming that there IS enough time for you to do so. And after you’ve practiced this for a while, leave a comment below and let me know what wonderful experiences you are now fitting into your life as a result!
And if you want support from a proven process, provided by someone who has conquered the “myth of the busy mom”, consider joining me and other busy moms for my upcoming program “Awaken Your Passion: Your 30 Day Plan to Living Your Passionate Life (without neglecting your kids!)”…A Live Virtual Group Program You Attend From The Comfort of Your home! You can learn more and register here: http://www.ishinekids.com/passionprogram.html