Take 5 & Simplify!

How’s your week going? Mine’s just going too fast; here we are at Wednesday already. So I had a busy weekend. But I also used to be a week ahead in my preparation. What happened? Other tasks just got in the way I suppose or some of them took longer than I expected. So I find myself asking, what can I simplify? Are there tasks that I can eliminate or break down into easier, smaller ones? (That question always reminds me of the old joke: “How do you eat an elephant?” Answer: “One bite at a time”.)

multitaskingThe trouble is that in our 21st century world, we’re expected to multi-task. How often do you find yourself doing two or three things at a time and not paying full attention to any of them? I catch myself doing it all the time.

I had a conversation about this last week. The person I was talking to had been in a local restaurant and observed a couple at another table having dinner together. The wife spent the whole meal talking on her mobile phone, playing with, and occasionally eating, her food and never spoke to her husband. The observer was horrified yet fascinated. Now, there could be all sorts of reasons for that conversation, but what a shame she couldn’t just switch off the phone and enjoy her meal.

The advice I’ve just read to deal with out “busyness” is to stop and breathe. To MP900387543relax about how much we need to achieve and simplify! Do one thing at a time and enjoy.

Here’s an exercise to get you started. Lie or sit comfortably and focus on your breath. Breathe in, breathe out. Focus on different areas of your body – your shoulders, your head, neck, arms, chest, hips or knees and imagine breathing into each area. Try it for five minutes (use a timer if you need to) and then ask yourself, “How do I feel?”  Here’s business coach Kate Gerry someone else saying roughly the same thing about taking a bit of time out.

MindMapGuidlinesThe second thing that really helps me to simpify and do things one at a time is to write lists. And then prioritise. Ticking off items on a list as I complete tasks makes me feel better. Some people prefer a mind map – like the one on the right – where you plot ideas on a whole page (looks like a spider to me), but at least it helps to get an overview of a task or situation.

Dates for your diary

Saturday, 19 September: This Saturday is the “Myth of Ageing” workshop at Woodham Community Centre. It’s not too late to join us. Contact me now or come along on Saturday – there should be room, it’s a BIG hall! More

Saturday, 26 September, free Sound healing workshop at Woodhouse Close.

Thursday, 1 October, Celebrating Older People Day at Newton Aycliffe Youth and Community Centre. I’ll be there to do a Nia taster session at 11 a.m. Do come along and join in. And if you’d like to have your say about health and wellbeing, then you can join in the Older Adults Engagement Forum in the afternoon.

Thursday, 8 October, Move and heal – gentler paced Nia class at Woodham Village Community Centre. Beginners welcome. More