A New Rule for Productivity – The Art of Doing Nothing

This week I heard from three different women that sometimes “it’s just all too much” – (the societal lifestyle expectations that we are trying to live up to), and they are “struggling”.  We live in a world where everything is go faster, do more, and keep on keeping on.

What’s going wrong?

We are bombarded with information that suggests our lives are not perfect unless we are ….. (xyz) …. .  Then, as we strive to meet up to that perfect life, we become exhausted and run down, emotionally drained, irritable and ratty, only to find out we haven’t achieved what we were trying AND that the goal posts have now moved.  And so, our minds fill with thoughts that “we are struggling to keep up with it all”.

How many of us ladies take time to ourselves for self-care during our busy weeks?  Or do we all just keep ploughing along until everything is done but we’re exhausted?

A Shift for the Better

Let’s stop for a moment.  No!  Literally stop!

Stop multitasking and reading this on your commute or whilst you’re in line at the grocery store.  Actually stop.

Take a breath, a deep breath, and just take in your surroundings.  Be present.  Go on, have a look around you.

Take another deep breath.  Think of the last thing that made you laugh or smile, and re-live the feeling it gave you, again.  No cheating now; actually do this.

In just that moment, those couple of seconds, taking time to breathe, you will have recharged your life-battery just a little bit.  And that was just a couple of seconds.

Imagine how much you could recharge if you took 20 minutes, or half an hour in the middle of your day, to just stop and take stock of things.  Took just a moment to refocus, re-centre, to breathe and to restore your energy.

A New Rule for Productivity

Doing nothing, just like restorative sleep, gives our brains time to forge new neuro-connections which help us consolidate information, enabling us to act efficiently and therefore be more productive.

Pre-children, I used to run a coaching practice.  One of the best exercises for helping my clients in the achievement of their goals was to make sure that they scheduled time in their diaries for doing absolutely NOTHING! They actually booked it out like an appointment or meeting – it’s that important.

Their period of “doing nothing” was actually doing a lot.  It was giving them a chance to recharge so they could go at it again with renewed vigour.  I’d liken it to scheduled maintenance that we give our machines so that they don’t break down.  Given a little TLC, those machines just keep on running.

The Art of Doing Nothing

So what is “doing nothing”?

It’s a bit of an art form, and will be different for everyone.

For me personally, a walk in woodland is great – just to look and to breathe.  Or sitting with a cup of tea, preferably with a slice of cake and watching the world go by, just being present in that moment.

A lot of people find meditation is great – relaxing, letting your mind do nothing, not thinking, not processing.

Or turn your music up really loud and belt out your favourite song in true karaoke fashion.

Perhaps just sit comfortably, close your eyes, and focus on your breath flowing in and out.

It’s that ‘something’ when the fast-paced world just stops, and you can empty your head of projects and deadlines.  What ever works for you to stop the information coming in, to allow your brain and mind to rest, and allow your soul and your life-battery to recharge.

Find out what works for you, and make time for it in your day, your week and your month.

Something From Nothing

When we are firing on all four cylinders, we get things done.  When we are worn out, exhausted and fatigued everything becomes hard work and slow to complete.

If we just take the time to do nothing, to re-charge, we will feel renewed energy to see us through the day and our schedule.

From those moments of quiet will also come clarity and vision; a clearer idea of how to get our “stuff” done, and even some thoughts about what we actually “choose” to do.  Not all “busy-work” get us closer to our goals.

 

So, take me up on a challenge:  Everyday this week, build in 10-20 minutes of doing nothing. (If you can’t see how to do that, try 3 minutes in the morning, at lunchtime and in the evening.  Just 3 minutes!)             I’d love to hear how you get on.

Share the love; please follow and like us:
RSS
Follow by Email
Pinterest
Facebook
Google+
http://contentedmum.com/mummydom/a-new-rule-for-productivity-the-art-of-doing-nothing/
Twitter

The #1 Reason Why We Home-Educate

ContentedMum-No-1-Reason-Why-We-Home-Educate

 

We had never even heard of home-education or home-schooling when we began our journey.  We had no idea how to do it or whether it was even a legal option for us (we’re in the United Kingdom).  We’d only had one touch-stone of this way to educate once when we viewed a house and the outgoing residents were home-educators; that was the first time we’d even heard of home-schooling.

We found ourselves at a decision point in life where we had to make a decision for our children that would, in fact, turn out to be “life-changing”.  We’d previously made a very careful choice about the way our children were educated, and chose a particular school that we hoped would suit our children’s needs.  We thought – that’s what you do, isn’t it?  Send your children to school to be educated.

The Catalyst for Change

We slowly and painfully discovered that our child did not “fit” in school.  We watched him go from being ‘happy and outgoing’ to ‘anxious and frustrated’.  His school reports went from ‘eager and intelligent’ to ‘disengaged and struggling’.  We were spending more and more time at home with him, “re-teaching” the things he hadn’t been able to learn at school.  Life, for all of us, became a miserable battle of “just getting through it”.

What All Parent’s Do – Putting Our Children First:

The Decision to Home-Educate

Our child was struggling.  Our child was unhappy.  We had to do what was right for our child.  We had to step up as parents, fight our child’s corner for him and make a tough decision.

We needed to find a way to end the misery and frustration our child was facing, and re-engage him in the wonderful adventure of learning.

I’d been helping him at home with his education after the normal school hours, which had been going well.  We asked ourselves, “Why not just do that, just home-educate and cut out the ‘school part’?”  So we did!

And that, right there, that decision: “To put our children’s needs first”, is our #1 reason why we home-educate.  It was our reason to start, and our reason to continue these past five years.

That decision was the start of a journey that changed our lives, for the better.  That journey hasn’t always been easy, but the decision to take that path was perfect for our children, and perfect for our family.  We have our ‘happy and outgoing’ boy back, and I am a Contented Mum!

Other fabulous reasons to home school

As we looked into home-education and home schooling and did our due-diligence and research, we found there seems to be as many reasons to home-educate as there are families home-educating.

Here is a round up of some stories from other very lovely home-educating families to share their reasons for homeschooling, and a website, that will give you a different insight.

Kirsten at The Frugal Girl explains their many, many wonderful reasons why they homeschool here.

Keris Stainton contributes to Huffington Post about her reasons here.

Alyson, of World Travel Family provides a very exciting and adventurous reason to home-educate in her blog post here.

Josh’s frank explanation regarding gifted children can be found here.

Further details as to why people may choose to home-educate can be found on this website.

 

So this was just our journey and reason for home-educating.  After five years it still holds true and we wouldn’t change a thing.

What is your reason for home-educating / home-schooling?  Leave a comment below; your contribution may help another family understand how diverse the home-ed community is.

Share the love; please follow and like us:
RSS
Follow by Email
Pinterest
Facebook
Google+
http://contentedmum.com/home-ed/the-1-reason-why-we-home-educate/
Twitter