I was on a call a couple of months ago with a group of friends who are super successful coaches and consultants. We went around for introductions and everyone shared how overwhelmed they felt. When it was my turn I noticed the pull to echo the sentiment of overwhelm. But also noticed that it would be a lie…
Because the truth was I didn’t feel overwhelmed.
In fact, this call was the main non-coaching call that day and I was fully present and enjoying the connection. I didn’t have tons of things to do, people to see and places to go’, as they say.
You could say my life is ‘boring’.
But it’s not an accident. I design my schedule that way. Sometimes, it may feel like we don't have a choice but it's usually temporary. And sometimes it's really hard feeling the guilt of saying 'no' and the sinking feeling of FOMO. But my quality of life has improved since making my life more 'boring' and I don't think it's a coincidence.
Even clients who have kids feel the difference when they start to allow for 'boring' in their lives.
Now, far be it from me to judge anyone who has a ‘full and busy’ life. If you’re in a highly dynamic season of life, go for it. If you’re procrastinating on something you really want to do, I’m your number one cheerleader to get off your derrière
and get going!
In fact this is what I said to one of my clients last week who was holding back on publishing a piece on justice and the global food system – which she has now finally published (congratulations, doc!) But this is what I said to another high achiever client who asked me if it’s OK to be bored…
There’s nothing wrong with action and dynamism.
But if you ever feel ‘bored’ and start to panic; or if someone makes you feel inadequate and that you should be doing more or be busier or have more things in your calendar, let me tell you this: don’t listen to them.
Celebrate having less busy-ness in your life for now. Hurrah!
Here are a few reasons why:
1.Having more space and time, helps your mind and body relax in today’s overstimulated and overwhelming world, especially with the added stress of the pandemic. If you have a roof over your head, food on the table for the foreseeable future and are well, breathe.
2.There’s room for your creativity to come online which means you see things others can’t. Your contributions to projects and to your own life soar in quality and inventiveness. McKinsey & Co published this piece about the importance of slowing down to improve team performance.
3.You’re more resilient to shocks (e.g. pandemics) because fewer things are disrupted in your life. You also have time and energy resources to respond constructively rather than firefight the disruptions.
4.People don’t feel as if you’re squeezing them into your schedule or that you’re distracted while talking to them which makes for higher quality relationships and deeper intimacy (and isn’t that the jackpot?)
5.Your vision, values and mission in life get clearer because you’re more deeply attuned to your inner-world and have space to reflect on what really matters. As one co-discoverer of DNA and Nobel Laureate said:
“It's necessary to be slightly underemployed if you are to do something significant.”
6.Your health improves because stress and tension drop and injuries have time to recover and heal properly.
It’s so easy to get caught up on the treadmill of culturally sanctioned ‘busy-ness’. It’s part of what makes the dominant work culture toxic.
That’s why self-care is a social and political act. It can feel rebellious and even scary. Reclaiming space in your life can sometimes feel like you’re entering a ‘void’ or as if you’re about to do something dangerous…
But if you need a little nudge to slow down and let go of a project here or a meeting there and just be, this is it.
Make boring the new normal.
And if you ever feel like you can’t stop and there’s no time for yourself, just check in with yourself again and ask:
Is it true? :)
Have a great week,
p.s. I have a 1:1 coaching spot open. If you’re interested book an exploratory call here.
PLUS whenever you’re ready to unlock your deeper potential and live your true mission in life here are a few options:
1. Get one of the free 3 Powerful Mindset Shifts to Turn Uncertainty into Possibility mini-guide.
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4. Transform your career and create the life you really want 1:1 coaching: Work with me privately to align your career and life with your true aspirations and fulfil your deepest potential with more ease and fun. For an exploratory conversation reply or book a 20 minute call here.