10 ways to make space in your busy life for the sh*t you actually care about
Time seems to be one of those commodities we never have enough of. We're constantly trying to find ways to get more of it and better utilize the time we do have. While we really don't have much control over the time in our lives- no matter how hard we try, time is time is time; it never stops- we do have more control over the space in our lives. What I'm really talking about here isthe ability to control how that time is spent.
I hit a breaking point this week. To be honest I hit a few breaking points. I think I might have cried more in the last month than I have in the last year put together. Why was I such a blubbering fool this week?
I had found a way to fill up every stitch of space in my life, and it finally caught up to me.
Working two jobs, building a brand and business, taking care of my house and myself, spending quality time with my partner and family, all while planning to take a mini vacation doesn’t leave a ton of space for much else.
While having so many enriching things on my plate probably sounds like an end goal to most, I realized this week that in order to continue being productive, creative and living an inspired existence requires open, unfilled spaces. Physically, sure we all need our space to feel like we can breathe and co-exist on this planet. But I’m talking some serious mental, spiritual space.
When our heads are filled to the max with ideas and to-do’s and our hearts are so full of the feels towards all those ideas and to-do’s, there is not much room left over for creation, intuitiveness, or presence.
I wrote a little while back about this in my post, Stick Your Tongue Out at Your Inner Critic [Facing Fear], when we get so up in our heads and lose sight of the present moment, so I won’t go on too much about how living in your head creates all sorts of havoc. But it is something that makes nourishing that deeper, more creative, more intuitive part of our souls seem less accessible.
It took a serious time out- like, I had to drive to a different state to have this realization sort of time out- I realized that I was not leaving enough empty space in my life in order to nourish those parts of me.
A huge part of the reason I do what I do as a coach is to help others have these sorts of shaking realizations. These sorts of mind shifts are what feed and inspire sustainable, healthy habit change.
So what did I do with this realization? I got to work hashing out all the ways I’ve created more space in my life in the past, so that I can tap into that space again. And like any good coach would, I made a list for you lovely people (‘cause we all love a good listical!).
So now that you’ve got the tools and the kick in the pants from me, you can get to work on carving out a more delicious, intuitive, creative and inspired life.
01. Schedule a timeout
It may sound too simple and it is; so simple that we often take for granted how much good a little vacation does foe the spirit. Think about the last vacation you took with your loved ones, or even maybe a vacation you took by yourself. Three days in you probably started to feel the effects of unplugging from the normal day-to-day. I know when I vacation is when I make the most profound decisions about the direction I want my life to take. Sounds scary and silly, but out from underneath the cloud of work and bills and responsibilities, you’re finally able to see what’s most important again. Giving yourself a timeout from all of that allows things to come back into focus.
02. Go somewhere unfamiliar and talk to people you don’t know
This one goes hand in hand with the last, but I think that new places, people, foods and landscapes remind us of how small we are in our little corners of the world. They allow us to see things in a different light, and when you start to view things through a new lens is also typically when that inspiration we’ve been waiting for strikes.
03. Turn off the technology
Yup. We all know it. But its easier said than done of course. But if you're stressed because you feel like you don’t have enough time to do the things that you feel really matter, stop distracting yourself with unnecessary noise and lights and dramatic story lines that just clutter up any measly amount of space you have left in your head. make space
04. Let go of the guilt around closing the notebook and computer
This one is tough for me. Its tough for anyone who works for themselves, or anyone who is just super invested in their job in general. But it is vitally important. Here’s a heartbreaker for you: You’re never going to feel that sigh of relief like the work is done. The work is never done. But career is only one small facet of our rich lives, and if we spend most of our time and creative energy on just one piece of the puzzle, we’re never going to come close to piecing the rest of that beautiful puzzle together.
05. Get intimate
I’m talking SEX. Yup. You’re probably thinking, “Holly, I barely have time to sleep let alone have sex.” When the truth is this: you don’t have time not to be having sex. Getting intimate releases all sorts of hormones that my girl, Alex Jamieson, knows much more about than I do, so you should check her out. But those happy hormones do wonders for our brain (and bodies!) on so many levels.
06. Clean the nooks + crannies
Coming home to yet another thing on this to-do list staring you dead in the face is not the way to have more open space in your life. Write down an achievable list of the absolutely necessary spaces to clean so that when you come home to the space that is supposed to foster relaxation, it can actually do its job. I did this last week. Three hours of non-stop scrubbing, but the weight that was lifted afterwards was paramount. Plus when my home is clean, it looks lighter and airier and that aesthetic alone makes a gigantic difference in your space.
07. Say no to that additional fun thing
When your mom asks you to come to the sauna with her but your week is already super scheduled out, just say no. Or cancel something less important to make space for it. The reality of it is that even the most relaxing form of self-care is going to add stress to your life if its just one more thing to do in your already hectic week.
08. Make your to-do list and then cross that shit off till next week
Sunday morning or Monday or whatever day you feel you start your week with, make a list. Write down everything you want to get done; everything you have to get done. Now prioritize it. Number it, rearrange it, whatever you have to do to get clear about what’s most important. Now cross the last two things off and start a list on a new page for next week. Add those two crossed off tasks to next week’s list. You’re not neglecting them or forgetting about them. You’re simply prioritizing and getting real about what you can actually get done without stressing to the max and trying to fit it all in.
09. Make more habits + less decisions
Making decisions is something that seems second nature. We make decisions from the time we wake up to the time we fall asleep. What to wear to work, whether or not to wash our hair, what food to pack for lunch. All of those decisions take energy to make. And even though they seem small, they clog up space in our brains. How do we make less decisions then? Make those decisions habitual. Stop wondering whether or not you should pack a smoothie for breakfast and just do it. Don’t contemplate going to your morning class or taking the dog for a walk before you start your day. Just do it. Start eliminating the decision making process where you can and that will free up not just time, but the energy you need to start living the life you actually want to be living.
10. Stop trying to picture how it’s going to look
There is only so much planning you can do before you drive yourself to insanity. Yes, with any major project or event of course some planning is required. But when you let go of this picture perfect vision, you open yourself up to unforeseen opportunities. For example, I have been stressing HARD about a program I am planning on rolling out this coming January. When I finally stopped freaking out about every tiny detail, I relaxed, opened myself up and met someone who I’m potentially going to be working with to launch this program. When you give it up to the universe (or God or Spirit or whatever sort of higher power you believe in) things just have a way of working themselves out organically.
Happy space making xx