How to stop focusing on all the things you haven't gotten done
Updated: Jul 9, 2019
OR How I stopped feeling guilty about downtime - Part 2
A big part of why it’s hard to enjoy your downtime when you have it is because you are so focused on all the things still left to do.
But a to-do list never ends. No matter how ‘ahead’ you get for the day, there will still be more tomorrow.
So how can you enjoy your day and each moment in it instead of focusing on all the things still left to be done?
Put an end to the ‘should-ing’ (a.k.a. the feeling that there's always something you "should" be doing).
Both of my pregnancies came with migraines. I needed to rest and lay on the couch. But I didn’t feel good about it (you’d think pregnancy would finally give a woman the excuse she needs to take a break!). I couldn’t help but think of all the other women who were working through their pregnancies, right up until the end, and getting shit done. It didn’t matter that I couldn’t concentrate or was in pain. I was majorly ‘should-ing’ on myself.
My coach encouraged me to let go of this unhelpful attitude by having me instead focus on what I was accomplishing when I took a rest. Resting meant I was not only taking care of my baby but I was gathering strength to be able to do other things later, like hang out with my toddler or make dinner.
I began to see that resting didn’t mean I wasn’t getting things done but that it was actually helping me to get more done than I would have otherwise.
So here’s my lesson learned:
Whenever you sense a ‘should’ creeping up on you when you’re relaxing, replace that thought with a positive and supportive one.
For every “I didn’t empty the dishwasher”, think “but I boosted my mood by reading a book”
For every “I didn’t get that task done,” think “but I took a break that allowed me to be more productive in that meeting”.
We always have reasons for our behaviour, even if they’re subconscious. If you decided to watch TV with your free hour instead of vacuuming, it was because on some level your body or brain needed to veg. Congratulate yourself on resting!
Self-care is so important - if you’re taking the time for it, make sure you’re getting the full benefits!
And if part of your self-care involves figuring out the next step you need to take to find more fulfillment in life, download my Get Unstuck worksheet here.