I took an hour last night to watch a video recording of Michael Neill talking at a Dan Bradbury marketing conference. Michael was clearly the antidote to the whole event and his talk was about slowing down and doing less as part of having a wonderful life. Co-incidentally, I wrote about slowing down only last week on Entrepreneur Soul.
Then, mooching through my old newsletters, I was reminded that I have been trying to find the answers in doing less for some years now. Here’s something I wrote in 2006:
“Coming to the end of my laid back month in which I deliberately chose to do less (again!) and see if the results were more, I can report as follows:
The first couple of weeks were a struggle. When I work less I feel like a slacker. My self-esteem slips a few notches when I am less able to value myself by what I achieve. Losing momentum means I am capable of less all round, and I felt quite uncomfortable initially.
But then I found I really got into it. I enjoy having the time to look after myself properly. Fewer 5 a.m. starts, time to read lots of lovely books, emptying my in-tray and my filing tray, watering the plants, changing the sheets, replacing the dead light bulbs, resting more – I find the leisure time to do these things makes me happier. This is, after all, what I have been working towards all my life. Time to be.
I expect to do less in a day and all my time isn’t all pre-ordained or booked out weeks or even months in advance.
I have time for emergencies because capacity is built into the day so I can bring forward a meeting for someone with an urgent need, or make time to lunch with a friend. I can easily make time to stop and fill the car up with petrol and thus avoid running on empty, I can cope with the occasional crisis although these are fewer, and when they do happen they are not a MAJOR DRAMA, they just roll off my back.
In summary, the things I am most pleased about are:
- More time to work on the things that are really important to me
- Real progress in areas of Extreme Self Care
- Time to think
- Time to write
- Time to look after my own money – last night I started a spreadsheet forecasting my cashflow for a year in advance
- My own accounts are up to date which is a nice feeling
- Ticking off my list those tolerations which drag you down if you never get around to taking care of them
- Time to follow up on details which are important but reliant on others who need chasing
- The opportunity to plan and be proactive rather than reactive
- The feeling of being on top of things rather than always running behind and trying to catch up
- Time to breathe, contemplate, meditate and work on self
- Finishing things I have started
- Being able to wait until I feel like doing something, rather than having to do it now otherwise when am I going to fit it in?
- Having the luxury of time and lots of it and being able to feel its expansiveness
- Being able to live in the moment – a work in progress still
- Being happier
- Time for lots more wizard-prang entrepreneurial ideas – oops!
And the net result of all this is I am more rested, better prepared, less stressed and more creative in a way which is really meaningful for me personally, and healthier.
And all because I gave myself permission.”
My seeking has to be over then. I just have to decide to be.