Overwhelmed? Get bored!
Sounds a bit off right? Allowing yourself to be bored? Particularly from a typical enthusiast type like me, who loves living life and gets energy from doing things a thousand miles an hour. However, to stay sane in our über-connected world, with Pavlov conditioning to our smartphone-pings the moment we wake up till we go to sleep and trying to prioritise work, family and friends’ attention; I prescribe to be bored more often for a better life balance and reset your priorities.
We lost the art of doing absolute nothing, because we’re getting addicted to always be ‘on’. Smartphones (really, you have two..?), tablets, news feeds, email, WhatsApp, WeChat, social media, taking pictures of every bite we eat, you get my drift.
Here’s a few of my tips to reduce that feeling of being overwhelmed:
1. Create moments of boredom:
I am not saying to be boring, however to inject moments in your day of doing absolutely nothing. With this I mean, nothing. No purpose, no mindfulness, no reading, meditation, yoga and all that good stuff. This can be 10 minutes to an hour of just being. That’s it, no instructions, no distractions, just you and yourself;
2. Give it a name:
Brand your boring moments. Give it a name, so you’ll create a habit to have your ‘island’, ‘b-time’, ‘bubble’ or whatever you come up with. So you can tell your partner, your co-worker..I am off for a few minutes in my ‘bubble’;
3. No distractions:
Be alone, find a space with no distractions. Somewhere where you can sit, lie down, walk. Did I mention no smartphone or any other screens?
4. Conscious breathing:
Use this time to concentrate on something we do 24/7 unconsciously. Often only if we step into a yoga class or a therapist asks us to take some deep breaths, we realise and say “aawwhh this is nice”. Make this your DIY project and take this time to do some deep belly breathing and feel the anxiety exit your guts;
Come back and analyse what are the most urgent and important things you should be doing for the rest of the day. Can you plan for non-urgent important things later that week, that month? Then allocate the time this takes in your calendar, not on a todo-list. This needs to end up in your time planner, otherwise something else takes over;
Ever have that feeling that the day take over from you and that it feels like meetings and projects come as a surprise? At the end of each day, week and month review what’s happening the next day, week, month. This way you can still adjust and plan your schedule, both work and personal and you feel less anxious in your head because you feel in better control knowing what’s going on;
7. Just say no:
This is probably the hardest to most people, as we want to please and support other people. However in order for you to execute your priorities on-time, only say yes if you actually can commit time. Remember to put on your own oxygen mask first, before helping others.
8. Do not overplan your life:
Keep time for your ‘boring’ moments. See what happens when you sit still and do nothing. What do you see? What thoughts are coming to you? When was the last time you allowed yourself to do absolutely nothing for…10 minutes?
I wish you a boring time..