How to add more to your already busy life. And not hate yourself for it.

Posted on May 13, 2013


Life’s been busy lately! As noted by the new addition to my family in that pic above & my recent completion of 40 hours of fun crammed into a 30 hour trip to Minneapolis. But I noticed something in that trip – as early as my wake-up was for the 630am flight there, and as long as the day became (11pm dinner? who AM I?) and as full of exercise, walking, talking and entertainment it was, it wasn’t fatiguing in the way some other parts of my life seem to be. You ever notice that? A busy work week or crammed weekend can exhaust the hell out of ya (so much so that you’re a blob on the couch at night when you come home), but when you get into a period of time that’s crammed with stuff that fills you up on that deeper level – mentally, emotionally, sometimes literally filling your belly! – you actually become re-energized despite what should be a fatiguing schedule.

On the flight home, I finished a book I’ve been working on for a while, The Charge by Brendan Burchard. And one paragraph summed exactly why we feel this way…getting rundown and beat up by some busy-ness in our lives and not others.

Here’s what the author has to say on the matter (bold is mine): “For the most part, the stress people feel in life is rarely related to real challenge, the kind that stretches our abilities & makes us feel engaged and growing. Most stress today comes from distraction & procrastination. Too many of us simply spend too much time on unimportant activities & end up being caught in a time crunch. Add to that our tendency to procrastinate because we don’t really care about the activities we’re supposed to do, and suddenly the overwhelm really kicks in as more and more deadlines come due.”

So do we need to get rid of Facebook & all the other ‘unimportant activities’ in our lives? Consider this: instead of trying to take all the bad stuff away…what if we just tried adding more good? Brought up by Dave Dellanave at a nutrition talk I was at on Saturday, in the context of ‘taking away all the bad stuff is generally harder to do than simply focusing on adding new things’. That is to say, a restrictive diet is hard to do, especially because the focus is on “take away”. Instead of restricting, what if you focus on adding positive things (perhaps ‘vegetables to your meals’ or ‘meditation to your life’)?

Focusing on adding things to your life has the effect of 1) making you feel more satisfied with life because you “get” things, rather than “losing” things to reach your desired achievement, and 2) slowly edging out those negative things that were keeping you from your goal because your pie chart of time for things is now being filled by ever-larger pieces of other good stuff. There’s only so much time, and mind-space available and if you fill it with good things that support your desired goal, you automatically reduce or stop having space for the non-optimal stuff — and you reach your goal in a way that feels good & fulfilling.

What if we applied that to daily life? I found that out this weekend…I don’t need to take away stuff from my life. I actually need to add more to it. Not more time-suck, “unimportant”, ‘ugh so tiring’ stuff though…good stuff, stuff that fills me up and enlivens every part of me. It’s an interesting perspective to take, don’t ya think? The key though is to figure out what that ‘good stuff’ is, and then do more of that. Feel it’s hard to figure out what your ‘good stuff’ is? It may be tough to objectively define, but like they said about porn – while hard to define on paper, you know it when you see it. 😉 Here’s to finding your “good stuff”!

Posted in: Evolve Thyself