I’m quite sure the original is KISS is Keep It Simple Stupid but… change happens when we look at what we’re doing compassionately not critically. One of my consistent messages is to not beat yourself up for what you’ve done or been doing. It keeps you rooted in the past and doesn’t help move your forward. Look at what you’ve been doing with the idea that you’ll learn from it and let’s go: keep it simple sweetheart.
What do I hear over and over again? How stressed and busy people are. How they feel like there’s never enough time to get done what needs to get done. I hear how they’re sick of nagging their kids and yelling at the people they love. How do we get out of this pattern? Shift something today. KISS. Keep it Simple Sweetheart. Shift one small thing this week. Begin to question yourself and your long-standing habits in these two areas and you will feel calmer.
How often does your phone interrupt your life? I’m not going to report on how app developers have studied how best to addict us to our phones so please trust me, our phones are addictive. You’re not weak-willed or dumb. You’re human and you’ve been hacked. Good news is that you are still able to act independently and with some gentle and simple structure, you can take back control. Here are some things I do:
No phones in the car. Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve heard to not text or talk while driving. I also have a cell-free car for the passengers. Yes, this goes for when I’m carpooling kids also. Yes, when I first started this I heard complaints. Many of them. I heard how bored they were. Well sorry not sorry. Boredom is good for us. It allows us to investigate our life. This doesn’t mean my kids have to talk to me. In fact, recently I’ve been trying not to talk (I’m a talker). I’ve been trying to sit in the silence and see what happens. So far, I’ve been pleasantly surprised. A kid might point out a pretty tree or start talking about something that happened at school. It does not apply to trips over an hour. I’m not a masochist.
Our dining room table is a cell phone free zone. Sometimes the kids use the table when doing their homework with their laptops but cell phones are not invited to our table. This includes when they are alone or I am alone eating. Sit and savor your food. Food is for eating. It doesn’t take that long. You won’t miss anything online while you’re eating. If you’re the one who tells herself that she’s catching up on tech while eating, I encourage you to look a bit harder at what you’re telling yourself. Eating is mandatory for your survival. Can you take the time to care for yourself? To taste the food? To pay attention to your fullness? What are you doing on your phone that’s absolutely urgent? Must it get done that day? Look at your calendar and write it in then. Prioritize what else you were doing during the day to make sure you’re in alignment with your priorities and values. Often we are reaching for our phone out of habit. When we become aware that that’s what we’re doing, we can stop. Try it for today. KISS.
Turn off your notifications. Turn off the noise on your phone and put it on the “moon” mode. I will not get into brain health here but notifications are not good for our brains or our focus. In fact, one “ding” can pull us off task for up to seven minutes. Add to that, it takes mental energy to even think that there’s an email waiting for you that you haven’t read yet. Save yourself the drama by turning off the notifications. If there’s an emergency with your child or your family, you’ll get a call. The emails can wait. Take back control of your days. Don’t let someone else’s priority push aside your priority. Click To Tweet
Put the phone as far away from your bed as possible. Preferably on a different floor. Why are you telling yourself you can’t? Alarm? Here’s a link to a $11 alarm that will arrive at your door in 2-days. Enough excuses. You like to know the weather when you wake up? Easy solution, get up and look out the window. Challenge that teenager in your mind. You know what’s best for you. Why do you really want that phone by your bed? It serves some purpose. Be the adult and call yourself out. Choose to protect your sleep tonight. KISS.
Don’t check email or social media until you’ve planned your day and connected with those who live with you. I usually schedule my email check for after lunch. Morning is my most productive time to work, either creating content (writing blogs, freebies, etc) or coaching. After lunch is a good time for me to check because I’ve already gotten my most important tasks done and can now look at how others think I should spend my time.
-Intentional Email Check:
Speaking of email, how often do you check your email each day? How does that work for you and your productivity? Get intentional. I used to have my notifications on so that I was alerted each time an email came in. This would distract me and I often found myself pulled away from what I was doing to address someone’s email. Not only did this lead to me not getting done what I wanted to get done (letting others’ priorities take over my priorities), it didn’t feel good emotionally. I would feel marginally bitter at the innocent email sender and disappointed in myself for spending time doing things that weren’t top priorities. Unnecessary DRAMA, right?! About 3 years ago, I chose to only check email twice a day. At first it was hard but I quickly discovered three magnificent things. First, by the time I checked the email, the issue at hand was often addressed or no longer an issue. In slowing down my response rate, I allowed others to fill in and there was often no need for me to respond. Second, no one really noticed I didn’t reply in my usual 12.2 seconds. I didn’t lose any friends and didn’t lose any opportunities. Finally, because of number 1 and 2, I had less emails in my inbox!!! The less I emailed, the less emails there were for me to check. The more we email others, the more emails we get. Practice not responding unless necessary. In fact, the whole emailing twice a day was easier than I thought and now I only check my business email once a day and my personal email 2-3 times a week! Hooray Freedom!! If there’s an issue with one of my kids or something important, I hear about it through a call or text. No FOMO here! How about you? Can you commit to turning off your notifications? Could you cut back to twice a day email checks? KISS.
When we tell ourselves we are too busy, we feel like we’re a victim to our life and we stop looking for solutions. We run around feeling like our head is cut off and in a state of stress. We become forgetful. We build up resentment towards the things we are doing. I used to be in a constant state of stress because I told myself I was so busy, there was so much to do, and thought there would never enough be enough time to get it all done. Problem is, our brain does what it’s told. If I run around telling it I’m so busy, I make t a reality. I sign up for shit I don’t want to do. I waste time doing things that aren’t in my zone of genius. There are plenty of ways to fill up our days. There will always be more to do and there actually isn’t enough time to do it all. This is why, we need to get really clear on what we’re spending our time doing and why. Someone will always be able to come along and add something else to our day. Do we let them? It’s up to us. Some KISS solutions:
Write down everything you do today and the time you take to do it. Every little thing. When you shower. When you check Facebook. When you check the weather. When you eat. When you grocery shop. Use this simple sheet. At the end of the day, put on your detective hat and look at how you spent your day. Where are you wasting time? What are you doing that fills you up? What are you doing that depletes you? Where have you gotten off track? We spend our time doing what we prioritize in our life. If I were to look at how you spent your day, would I be able to see your priorities? How can you shift your days so that you are living more in alignment with your values? Click To Tweet When I ask most women what is important to them, they usually tell me some combination of their children, their relationships, their health. Yet, when they write down how their days are spent, I don’t see this reflected. Where’s the exercise, the date nights, the time spent one-on-one with a child (not at a sporting event or with a phone in hand)? This causes internal stress. Your inner warrior knows you’re not living the life you want to be living. One simple change is to get a calendar and start writing down what you will do in your days. There is a direct correlation between my client’s stress and how deliberate their days are Click To Tweet. If they are not giving some thought to how they will spend their day, they are more stressed. If they’re giving it thought but not writing it down, they’re more stressed. Get it out of your head and write it down. Schedule a coaching session to get you started. Can you write down everything you do today? Can you continue to pro-actively plan your days? This simple change will shift a lot. KISS.
–Switch your language:
Now that you’ve gotten deliberate about planning your day, get deliberate about the language you use regarding your days. How you talk about your days has a lot to do with how you feel about your days. Shift your language to remind yourself that how you’re spending your days is your choice. For example, instead of saying “I have to”, say “I get to” or “I choose to”. I also found it helpful to make mini changes. I went from: “I’m so busy” to “my day is so full”. When I got used to that, I went from “my day is so full” to ”I have all the time I need to get done what needs to get done.”
Begin each day asking yourself: “What do I want today to be like? What do I want to feel like during the different parts of my day? What do I want to feel like at the end of the day?” Pausing to set your intentions for the day take less than 3 minutes but will set you up for success. Doubt me? Try it and let me know. [tweetshare tweet=”The more intentional we get about how we want to live, the more we live a life we want to be living. ” username=”SusieBarolo”]
So warriors, this week look at these two areas of your life: schedule and technology. Where are your actions creating stress in your life? Let’s Keep it Simple Sweetheart. Which simple shift can you make today?