being-intentional

Being intentional with our (super, crazy) busy lives

Do you feel that your life is just a little too busy?

Many people don’t realize that part of the reason they feel as though they don’t have enough hours in the day is due to disorder and disorganization. If you are feeling stress, your crazy schedule definitely is not helping.

This is something that I’ve been quite aware of ever since Tsh encouraged us to say no to ourselves.

Sometimes you have to take a pass on things and avoid overcommitting your time. For me, it’s something that I’ve gotten better at doing — with one exception: saying “no” to me.

The Reality We Live In

Let’s face it. We’re all busy and have our own agendas that get disrupted and knocked off track every day. That’s how it is, and there’s not a whole lot we can do about it.

I’m probably no different than the next person on social media or someone who works online for a living, and it’s true that I’m pitched multiple times a week to collaborate in some fashion.

Unfortunately, each of these times I need to say “no”, but that’s the easy part. Not because I’m a mean tyrant who’s incapable of working alongside folks — just that I have commitments elsewhere.

As a person who started a WordPress theme business, and currently a partner in a software development company, I have endless tools at my disposal. Whether it be a wide selection of beautiful designs, content optimization software, or web hosting, the endless amount of ideas that I pitch myself are astounding.

I can easily say “no” to other people, but I have a ridiculously hard time saying it to me. I’m an “idea guy”, so I fend off ideas in my head multiple times a day. And it’s exhausting, to be quite honest.

Idle Minds are the Devil’s Playground

When it comes to idle minds, I’m not referring to a lack of work that I have. There’s plenty of that around, trust me. This is all about the brain. I put in my full 40-60 hours a week, but my mind is on ludicrous speed practically every waking moment. (Un)fortunately, that’s simply how I’m wired.

If you’re looking for examples, you don’t have to go far. My personal blog is one example of an effort to utilize my creativity from a design standpoint.

Then there’s the “content” itch that I feel like I need to scratch — which I can do (somewhat) successfully there, but I’d love to create one (or a hundred) niche sites in areas of my personal interest.

Whether it be developing a community around running, or Starbucks or (insert some random topic that I feel would be fun to monetize here).

The Responsibility of Being Responsible

Sounds easy peasy lemon squeezy, doesn’t it?

The reality in my life right now is that I have a full time job, a family to feed, a house that I’m building and close to 40 people in our company who all rely on me to do what I’m supposed to be doing.

Which is … work.

And as I’m learning to say “no” to not only others but also to me, it’s something I admit that I need to continually work on.

One of the reasons I’ve been intentional about separating my personal blog and company efforts is to establish some efficiency (and balance) in my life.

That’s why I’ve chosen to live deliberately and ensure that I stay happy. And part of that effort includes saying “no” to certain things that I want to do.

Putting Yourself First

Now that I’ve admitted to you that I struggle with my schedule and everything I want to do, I thought I’d share a few things that I go out of my way to do. This is my attempt to retain sanity, and I hope you find these helpful.

1. Pursue a Hobby

It might sound like an obvious suggestion, as we all have areas of interest in our lives. I believe that we don’t give ourselves enough time to pursue and enjoy them. For me, this is running — so I make sure that I go outside (thank you Spring and warmer weather!) and run at least three times a week. It’s really difficult to check email and social media while I’m cruising, so this definitely gives me some much needed time away.

2. Declutter My Work Area

I generally tend to run a lean ship, but once in a while my office starts to accumulate “stuff” in various places. Whether it’s my desk, an end table or other places there. Sometimes when we see things laying around, it subconsciously starts to add up. So I’m trying to be better about putting things away after I use them. Out of sight, out of mind, right?

3. Writing Stuff Down

I realize that the idea of making lists might seem like it would be adding to the things we have to do, but intentionality can go a long way to reducing distractions. For the most part, I’m a Type-A person, who’s highly organized. So when I think of ideas or things I need to do, I’ll write them down. This gives me immediate access to taking care of them without spinning the wheels in my mind trying to remember them.

How Are YOU Doing With This?

Are you taking on too many projects or running too many errands? Are you spending too much time chasing down rabbit holes that aren’t productive or don’t bear fruit?

What are the things you struggle with when it comes down to saying “no”?

Let’s talk about it below.

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