We’re busy doing nothing
Working the whole day through
Trying to find lots of things not to do
We're busy going nowhere
Isn't it just a crime
We'd like to be unhappy, but
We never do have the time…
So go the lyrics from the song of the same name made famous by Bing Crosby in the 1949 movie “A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court” – how far do they ring a bell with you?!
Whilst musing about New Year resolutions I soon came to the conclusion that I never really stick to them – and it then occurred to me that the reason for this is that I’m already overloaded with things I have to do every day!
A recent article I found on a social media website resonated with me and made me realise how often I say:
‘I’d really love to – but I’m just too busy!’
This year, instead of promising things I can’t deliver, I've decided to work out which things I could cut out, or reduce, in my already overcrowded schedule’. Those things have been both illuminating and motivating.
I've decided that I'm going to:
1. Look at emails twice a day and only answer them if there is a real need to.
2. Work out what information I need before emailing so that I receive the required answers without having to engage in email tennis, wasting my own and other peoples’ time.
3. Pick up the phone more often and actually speak to someone.
4. Cut out apologetic openings in emails like ‘I’m wondering if…’ and ‘I was just contacting you to see whether…’ Such preambles take time to type, are unclear and if others don’t use them, why do I need to?
5. Stop doing things that give me a demotivated ‘heavy’ feeling and delegate them to people that enjoy the kind of tasks I hate (must identify who these people are first!).
6. Stop struggling with things that I’m not adept in and use the skills of experts instead. Doing so might cost me financially, but tasks will get done more quickly and I can put the time I save to working on the things I enjoy. Their services are tax deductible too!
7. Stop being sucked into working IN my business, when what I really enjoy is working ON my business.
8. Stop being ‘British’ about my own expertise in the “World” of event child care. With Brexit just around the corner, having a more global perspective might pay its own dividends.
9. Not waste valuable family and friend time on my phone using social media. I managed to extricate myself from it through most of the festive period – with the time I saved I’ve also taken up running and can now run for 4.6k – aiming to complete a 5k Park Run before too much longer!
10. Not stay late at work and miss my Pilates class. I go regularly in my head – but only manage to get their physically once a month, if that!
2018 was a really relaxed and enjoyable year despite a few largely ‘first world’ personal issues to deal with – issues which included an underfloor heating leak, incessant battling over an insurance claim and months of having to live in rented accommodation. Perhaps the sense of fun I’ve experienced is largely due to learning to recognise what NOT to do.
It's true that this IS a list of resolutions of sorts – but listing the items I’m NOT going to get bogged down by, somehow seems more achievable than the alternative!