Taking yourself out of your usual environment, every once in a while, is a great way to get some perspective on your life. It is often during these displacements that I learn new things about myself or remember old lessons (you know how we humans forget!).
I was away in New York for most of July. It wasn't a holiday as I spent most of it busy working and, despite this, or actually, because of it, I came to some game-changing conclusions.
Don't get me wrong – I love what I do. However, there are times when you can find yourself with your head down, being so busy, that you fail to regularly come up for air and reflect on whether your efforts are in line with your long-term goals. When you're swamped with things that have to be done right now, it's way too easy to neglect strategic thinking (Are your current activities going to make a significant contribution to your big goals? Are there other things you could be doing that will produce greater results?). The inevitable result of this negligence is that you will continue to be busy without getting anywhere near where you want to go.
I found myself exhausted, stressed out and frustrated that I had been stuck in a room when I should have been out enjoying the sun, catching up with old friends and taking advantage of being in a great city. I have an obsession with work and, given that it's my own business, it's even harder for me to switch off. But one day I decided to just do it. I took 3 days off – in a row! I spent quality time with my mama, friends and most importantly, myself.
I practised yoga for the first time in over a month and I did it with no expectations (another lesson I learned: expectation prevents action). I just did what I felt like doing and an hour later I was still at it! Not to say that the length of my practice is an aim but to demonstrate that time flew by without me realising it, because my body was enjoying itself and literally going with the flow.
And I wrote. For the first time in several months, I wrote. For myself. In my journal. Putting my thoughts, ideas, worries and fears down on paper – articulating, appreciating and understanding them – all helped me to see clearer. To see what I need and want in order to be productive and content and, to understand what I have to do to satisfy these desires and requirements. The act of writing seemed to release some intangible stop-gap and I now feel renewed and reenergised and my imagination and creativity has been on overdrive since!
It is essential to make time for yourself, if you want to be productive in the pursuit of your dreams.
My personal conclusion: if I do nothing else on any given day, I should write and practice yoga. Contrary to how I've been treating these activities, they are not luxuries or nice-to-haves. They are mandatory if I'm to function properly and make good use of the gifts and blessings that have been bestowed on me.
How do you make time for yourself. What activities do you engage in?
- Giving in to Routine: Tips on How to Make Ones that Work (Plus 5 Essential Resources)
- 3 Tried and Tested Productivity Tools
- New Year, New Mission, Same Big Picture – as I said about forgetfulness. This is something I have 'learned' before. Different circumstances lead me to the same conclusion …
- 2013: The Year of Kindness – ditto!
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