It’s The Weekend. I Have A Project For You!

“I live to enjoy life by the littlest things, feeling the grass between my toes, breathing fresh air, watching the wind sway the trees, enjoying the company of loved ones, a deep conversation, getting lost in a good book, going for a walk in nature, watching my kids grow up. Just the feeling itself of being alive, the absolute amazing fact that we are here right now, breathing, thinking, doing.” 
Marigold Wellington

2018 is a year that supports spending time on what matters – family, friendship, fun, and the priorities and projects dear to our hearts. It’s year to be creative, to kick back and enjoy ourselves, to slow down a little.

But all of this behaviour can be so very hard to embrace when we have been used to work, work, work, stress, stress, stress, busy, busy, busy.

So this weekend I have a project for you, even if you do have work scheduled! See how many of these you can tick off your list by Sunday night:

  1. Sitting with a cuppa or your favourite beverage and taking ten minutes to enjoy every sip and the peacefulness that comes with stopping for a while.
  2. Time in nature – a walk outside to look at the sky counts too!
  3. A relaxing shower or soak in the bath where you take time to enjoy the experience of the water and how it soothes you.
  4. Time with a beloved person or pet where you put everything else aside and just be there for them and with them. Phone calls and video calls count too!
  5. A fragrant treat – scent is a fast-track to happy memories, and to a place that is innovative and creative and upbeat within us. How can you connect to that? Maybe it’s a few drops of essential oil, or your favourite perfume or cologne, a fragrant soap or body lotion, a bunch of flowers, the scent of baking or a good coffee, the ocean or clean clothes fresh from the line still smelling of sunshine.
  6. A nourishing meal, eaten slowly and savoured, as you feel how it is doing you and your body good.
  7. A nap, a rest, or some quiet time to refresh you and recharge your batteries. I find books to be a wonderful downtime tool when I can’t get my mind quiet. Music is good for that too.
  8. Social time – this could be a drink or meal with friends or family, time at the movies or a shopping mall or anywhere you like to hang out with other people. Don’t know anyone? Smile or say hello to people anyway.
  9. Time on a project that is important to you. Even ten minutes counts. Just make them quality minutes by putting away your phone and other distractions.
  10. Some time where you do nothing at all, or anything you want and don’t feel guilty about that being wasted time.

Life is precious, sweet and over all too soon – especially if we have lived our entire lives busy and distracted. Slow down this weekend and make some little pockets of time for you and time for what truly matters.

Biggest love and hugs, Nicole xoxo

10 ways to make a little extra time in your life

Image by junussyndicate on deviantart

Image by junussyndicate on deviantart

“Time is an equal opportunity employer. Each human being has exactly the same number of hours and minutes every day. Rich people can’t buy more hours. Scientists can’t invent new minutes. And you can’t save time to spend it on another day. Even so, time is amazingly fair and forgiving. No matter how much time you’ve wasted in the past, you still have an entire tomorrow.”
~ Denis Waitley

Someone recently wrote to me ‘you sure do a lot of cooking, contemplating and enjoying the simple wonders of our world – what a shame that most of us don’t have as much time as you to indulge in “being present”. Any advice for those of us whose jobs take up a large chunk of our lives?’

Truth is, I don’t have any more time than the average person – I have just learned to use it differently.  Here is some of what I’ve found gives me more time in my day…

  1. Start this whole process of making time with some time out. Maybe take a cup of tea into the back yard, or go to a local coffee shop. If you can, take an hour or two, but you might actually need more time than that to reconnect with yourself if your life has been on automatic pilot.  Step away from the machine for a moment, and begin to put thought into what’s important to you.  Do that every so for the rest of your life.

  2. Prioritise what’s important, and give it time in your life. Just pick a few things, but let those things really matter to you. Writing and meditation are important to me so I fit these into the beginning of my day.  How do I do that?  I get up at 4am. By sun up I have put time into both of these things that matter to me. I won’t schedule anything before 9.  That leaves me time for breakfast with my husband, walks with the dogs, or an early morning surf.  Build your day or your week around the most important priorities in your life.  When you don’t make time for yourself FIRST, you’ll end up resentful and never getting to the things that matter.2012-05-17 07.34.52
  3. Stop watching so much television. Television sneakily robs us of time.  If you really want to watch something, plan to watch it.  Don’t just sit down in front of the box each day, switch it on and wait to be entertained.  Same goes for internet surfing and playing games!  Set a time limit on it and then walk away.

    Image from www.techzb.com

    Image from www.techzb.com

  4. Start your day right. Listening to the radio or watching the news on TV fills your head with lots of stuff that is not necessarily relevant, but that engages your attention elsewhere. It is also often quite depressing.  Take control of your morning and put a little effort into starting off well, however that looks for you, focusing on what will give you a positive and productive day.

  5.  Multi-task.  Commute time is a good example of this.  Catch up on your reading, or if you’re the driver, listen to talking books or courses that interest you.  Wear a wireless headset while you’re on the phone so that you can tidy up a room, fold clothes or do other simple chores while you talk.

    Image from www.ngotaxi.org

    Image from www.ngotaxi.org

  6. Simplify food preparation and shopping.  Plan your week’s meals in advance and shop to your plan. Batch cook so that you make a double quantity of brownies and freeze some for later.  Plan larger meals that make left-overs so you can cut down your cooking time later in the week.

    Image from www.minimins.com

    Image from www.minimins.com

  7. Systems are sexy!  Don’t double handle things.  Answer emails when you open them, deal with mail, paperwork and filing as you get to it, and set aside time each day, or each week for these routine tasks.  A place for everything, and everything in it’s place.

    Image from www.ehow.com

    Image from www.ehow.com

  8. Turn off technology for a power hour.  Get rid of all the distractions like email, facebook, cell phones and internet surfing and use that time to work on what’s important to you.

  9. Learn to say NO. Free up time by letting go of tasks, responsibilities and relationships that drain you and waste your precious time. (ideas on how to do that here)

  10. Don’t do everything yourself. Learn to delegate or outsource.  Ask for help, or employ help! Have your partner or child chip in, get a cleaner, or accept offers of assistance from friends and relatives.  If you have children, see if you can carpool or trade child-minding time so you can get a few hours to yourself. If you’re caring for elderly relatives or other dependents look for respite care and aid agencies to give you a hand.
Image from www.littlehouseinthesuburbs.com

Image from www.littlehouseinthesuburbs.com

To get the life we want, we need to actively design it and put effort into it. But it’s worth it – I know because I’ve had a life I hated, and now I have a life I love. And the only thing that changed was the choices I made and the actions I took to make my life more like the one of my dreams.  You can do it too!  It’s worth it.  You’re worth it.

Much love to you, Nicole xx