I cannot think of a time over the past few years when I haven’t mentioned being busy in a reply to the question ‘how are you?’. I regularly include happy, tired, overwhelmed, excited too but I know that 80% of the time my mind is racing and juggling and I’m trying to work out how to fit everything in.
I am a pretty organised person and highly motivated. I have worked for myself for a long time and I am good at time management. I fit a lot into life. I always have done but over the past couple of years I have felt like perhaps I've been getting things little bit wrong and there might be a different approach to living and working in a world where we can do so much at any time of day or night.
And then I read (well listened to on Audible!) Tony Crabbe’s “Busy. How to thrive in a world of too much”. I felt like it had been written for me. It’s been a long time since I’ve read something that has literally stopped me in my tracks and made me not only really think but also start taking action straight away.
I started this post with a summary of the book but I feel that this book is way too good and important for a summary, so I think you should make time to read it yourself.
But I did want to share one simple change I have made with you. It is so easy and little that you might want to try it too.
Setting my phone alarm
I now set my morning phone alarm at 9pm when I am still downstairs. I try not to look at it again after that but at the very least I don’t look at it once I’m heading up to bed. I simply put it by my bed for the morning and do not touch it. When I climb into bed I read a book or magazine instead of getting sucked into my phone.
Now, this might seem so simple and obvious. You might wonder why on earth I don’t just have an alarm clock and leave my phone downstairs. Well, for a number of reasons that doesn’t work for me for my morning routine (little people, a yoga app, Instagram time….) and for now I’m fine with that.
Before I made this change, I would regularly go up to bed determined not to look at my phone because I know all the reasons why this is not a good idea. And I often wanted to read my book but however I hard I tried when I stopped to set my alarm I would just need to check something else on my phone or a notification would pop up that I couldn't just ignore.
This little change means that I now go to sleep earlier. I go to bed so much calmer, I never see an email once I’ve headed up to bed, I don’t suddenly fall down an Instagram or Pinterest rabbit hole by mistake, or obsess over Makelight stats, or start chatting with friends in different time zones and I don’t read the news, which in the current state of the world is never a good idea before trying to go to sleep!
I have been doing this for two weeks now and for the first time in ages I’m excited about going up to bed because I can’t wait to read the next chapter of my book. I feel that beautiful sense of calm relaxation before I go to sleep….that feeling that for the past few years I’ve only really got on holiday. I thought it was to do with being a busy mother of four…not my iPhone!
Thank you, thank you Tony for helping me to make this one simple change. I will now be riding this wave and making other small changes that I know will have an equally big effect.
Do you have any small little habits like this that have a big impact on a busy life? I’d love to hear them. xo