As I am writing this from 35 000 ft in the air on my way to Lisbon for a mini break, I am feeling relaxed and inspired. Catching up with a former colleague from my full-time corporate job days earlier today made me realise how used I have become to feeling relaxed, connected to my body and desires, inspired and simply happy. Last year, feeling this way on a daily basis was only a fantasy that I chose to believe was possible. Instead, I was feeling stressed, scattered, disconnected from inspiration and always busy. Yes, “busy” was my favourite word for a while. I almost took pride in being busy, as if it were an honorable way to live my life, always busy. Too busy to prioritise my self-care needs and sleep, too busy to reply to my friends’ messages on time, too busy to stop and think about what I actually feel or desire. Being always busy meant I was tired, overwhelmed and frequently experiencing burn outs. Sounds familiar?
Today, I know that there is no happiness in being busy. In fact, the minute I start using the word “busy” to describe my day to someone or to choose not to have the experience I desire or require – be it do Pilates, spend time with a dear friend or take my daily walk – I know I am off track and my schedule and how I prioritise things need to be reviewed.
Of course we all have responsibilities and activities that require our attention, families to look after, households to manage, jobs to do. We are not always going to have hours of free time to sit and do nothing, and perhaps life would be less exciting if we did. The kind of busyness I am describing is the one that gets in a way of enjoying on a daily basis, the one that prevents us from living an inspired stylish lifestyle (your own version of it) or is used an an excuse to not prioritise self-care or the experiences we desire.
Since eliminating a lot of busyness from my daily life, I am happier, more inspired and experience life in colour on a daily basis, I am finally loving my lifestyle. It is, however, a constant work in progress – I caught myself using “busy” easier this week, but thankfully didn’t go down that road.
These are the ways I found effective to transform my life from busy to inspired.
1. Declutter your space and wardrobe
Ruthless decluttering of your home and your wardrobe is not only incredibly satisfying because it creates a new sense of freedom and space, but also it helps to simplify your daily life, therefore eliminating some of the busyness.
I love this quote by William Morris:
“Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful.”
The same works for your wardrobe. I have recently got rid of 40% of what used to be in my wardrobe by applying this rule: if it doesn’t make you feel beautiful, for whatever reason (it could be a wrong shape for you an unflattering colour or simply not the right style for your personality), it should go. It doesn’t matter how much money you paid for it or how bad you feel about giving away something that is practically new. If you don’t feel beautiful when you put it on, it has no place in your wardrobe. If you feel bad about throwing it away, you could sell it online to donate to charity.
2. Declutter your schedule and make space for what you require
This one is key to eliminating needless busyness in your life, but not so easy to do. One way of approaching this task, which I found to be very useful, is to not try to eliminate busyness to create free time, as this often failed, but to replace it with activities that serve me. Start by identifying your essential requirements, these include self-care, food, sleep, time with loved ones, alone time, activities that bring you pleasure and therefore significantly increase the quality of your daily life. These are typically different for each of us. My list, for example, includes morning meditation, drinking hot water with lemon while grounding myself for the day, making and enjoying healthy breakfast, slow lunch, preferably in a stylish surrounding, daily walk in a park or tree-lined streets, 8 hours of sleep, 10 minute of stretching, smelling flowers, time to connect on the phone or in person with loved ones. Once you have identified these for yourself, make sure these are prioritised in your daily schedule. Do keep in mind this is not about perfection. There will be days, where you are not able to do everything, but the important thing is to know what you require to be grounded and happy on a daily basis and give it to yourself. Neither it is about ticking boxes. How you do these and being fully present is the important part here.
If you are still saying you have no time in your schedule (I was the queen of excuses when it came to busyness) for a 30 minute lunch away from your desk, a walk or 8 hour sleep, see where you can create more time: perhaps reduce time you spend browsing the Internet without a specific purpose, on social media channels or watching TV.
3. Remember, stylish inspired way of living is a choice
When I was always busy, I often found myself in a victim mode feeling there was nothing I could do about the way I lived my life. “Life is busy, that’s a given and there is nothing I can do about it,” I used to say. Let me tell you, this wasn’t a happy or an inspiring place to be in. Once I realised that I am in control of my life and stylish lifestyle is a matter of making certain choices and aligning my daily schedule with my requirements and desires, things started to shift. Whenever you find yourself giving yet another “I am too busy” excuse to yourself, remember that you are in control and you can life your life in a way that is inspiring to you. This small shift in perception will empower you.
4. Ask for help
This one is my favourite and required most effort from me for some reason: you don’t have to do it all by yourself, you have nothing to prove to anyone, so do ask for, hire or simply accept help. Too exhausted by your household chores? Hire a cleaner or ask your current cleaner to help with extra activities. Too much admin? Hire a virtual assistant either for a specific project or to help you on a weekly basis. Too busy at work? Learn too delegate to your team. Overwhelmed by the state of your wardrobe or shopping? Find a stylist, it will save you time and money. Feeling confused and lacking clarity on what you require or desire? Hire a coach.
Remember, help is always available if you are willing to accept it.
Feeling too busy to show up in a stylish and confident way in your daily life? Book a discovery session with me here to gain clarity on how to prioritise you and create the image that will attract the opportunities you desire in your life and career.