Lisa Verdi is a woman with a business after my heart. It’s called MindfulBIZ and it’s all about helping creative entrepreneurs create a sustainable business through something we all could use some help with-designing a clutter free and focused website.
When she decided to take the Get More by Doing Less challenge I was pretty excited. Not only did she take the challenge, but she wrote down her experience here. Want to see if accomplishing less brought her more? Read her guest post below.
One of my intentions for this year is to switch off from my business off when it’s time to pick up my kids from school. I really love working on my business so much that it rarely feels like work, but I’ve noticed that I distract myself with busyness after my most productive time of the day is over. Far too often than I care to admit I’ll be checking my email or Twitter, catching up with the blogs that I follow or commenting on a business forum instead of being present with my family or making time for other activities I enjoy.
Brandi linked to a video about work-life balance and this message really resonated with me: you must take responsibility for setting the boundaries you want in your life.
I decided to give myself a challenge: unplug the computer between 3pm and 9am.
I was pretty good at meeting the challenge but there was one night when I turned on the computer after the kids were sleeping and my husband was late coming home from work. Plus Friday and Saturday nights were excluded from the challenge because that’s when my husband and I usually watch a movie on the computer.
The Uphill Battle
It took a few days to get into the new routine. The first morning of the challenge I definitely felt disorganized and lost. I ended up doing a lot of reading online instead of my tackling my to-do list in the morning. Throughout the week I noticed I would start to feel stressed in the early afternoon when I looked at the clock and thought that time was running out. And just before 3pm I’d find myself rushing to squeeze in the last few tweets or emails. It always took me a while to relax after I shut down the computer.
I can honestly say that I felt more present with my kids after school. We did some activities together like shoveling show and reading a book or talking about their day at school. During the bedtime routine with my kids I was more relaxed because I wasn’t rushing to get back on the computer. I also stopped eating breakfast in front of the computer.
My house got a bit cleaner because I used the few minutes before 9am to put the dishes away or do some spot cleaning. Most nights I went to bed earlier than usual too.
I’m a big believer in the idea that letting go creates space for new ideas and opportunities. Before the challenge I had been too busy ”working” in the evening to see the bigger picture. I got real about how many extra hours the busyness added to my work week.
I thought about my ideal lifestyle and how many hours per week I will choose to work.
In The Big Leap (a book I finally finished during this challenge once I stopped “working” in the evenings!), Gay Hendricks presents the idea of Einstein Time. When you live in Einstein Time, YOU are the source of time so you can make as much of it as you want. Time is abundant. In contrast, the old paradigm is that there’s a finite amount of time. When you think there’s a scarcity of time, you always feel rushed or like you’re running out time as I experienced during the challenge. When you take ownership of time, you stop being a victim of time.
I’m still wrapping my mind around this concept, but it does seem to be the key to Doing Less and Getting More. And I probably wouldn’t have discovered the idea if I hadn’t slowed down!
My next challenge is to notice how often I complain about time. Will you join me? See how often you think or say “I don’t have time to do that right now.” or “There aren’t enough hours in the day!” It’s the first step to taking ownership of time and MAKING it yours.
Isn’t that exciting?! I’m so happy for Lisa. If you find her as inspiring as I do and want to learn more about her and her business, you can check out her blog at MindfulBiz.com. Thanks again Lisa!