This morning while I was driving to drop off my kids at school I noticed that my glasses were somewhat uncomfortable and poked on one side of my nose. One of the nose pads was gone. Or whatever these things are called.
I looked around. Nope. Not in the car… and then I immediately made a plan on what to do next. I knew I had spare glasses at home and I knew I had already signed up for a yoga class. And I needed to get gas for the car, anyways. My eye doctor was right between the two, so I would just stop there on my way from yoga and would wear my spare glasses until then.
At home the grocery boxes did already arrive. I am not a big fan of grocery shopping, so I have my weekly essentials delivered. Saves me time.
Mind you. Today is my day off. The first day before the holiday break. And the only day I had available just for myself. A mental health day. I did not even tell my husband I was off.
My sole goal for today was relaxing and do nothing.
But what does nothing mean to me?
I immediately after getting home unpacked the groceries just to notice that the heavy cream was missing. Since I love heavy cream in my coffee this immediately put my relaxing afternoon coffee at risk. I was already out of cream and just not in to milk. So my plan formed up to stop at the store after yoga, before the eye doctor, and getting gas. And while I was at it I decided to stop at another store to buy some guinea pig food and visit the shelter cats. Looking and petting these cats always makes me happy. Going there just sounded good.
It is now 12:30pm and I am lying on the couch. I completed everything I planned. Am drinking the coffee, just had lunch, and the second load of laundry is already in the dryer. While I was changing for yoga I decided it would be a good idea to change the bed sheets and wash all my work clothes.
The 90min yoga class relaxed my body, the cats relaxed my mind, and my glasses are fixed. And I am not even really aware that I cleaned the kitchen after breakfast, and loaded and started the dishwasher.
I will go running later, but that is the last thing on my to do list.
See? I am essentially the opposite of a procrastinator.
I am one of the people who just does not postpone what can be done with minor effort. There are no lingering tasks on an ever growing list. I am accomplishing so many very small given things throughout the day, that in accumulation by the evening, I feel successful. There is no nagging kitchen to be cleaned, there is no missing grocery item preventing me from cooking what I want, and there is nothing that would prevent me from enjoying 1h of TV or more each night. And a glass of wine to go with it.
Getting the small things out of the way declutters the mind. So you can relax and enjoy “nothing to do”. Literally.
I am always amazed going to friends’ houses and some of the stress they are feeling. I have a friend who freaks out about every little thing to do, who cannot get laundry out of the way, who finds her house messy, and has always a long list of things to do. Yet, she is also the one who too often “does not feel like doing anything” and the list just grows.
In her house you find wrappers just lying on the table after the cereal bar was eaten. Or plates remain on the table until someone feels like doing the dishes. Just throw the wrapper away when you are done and do the dishes once you have eaten. Why wouldn’t you. Why would you expose yourself to the self inflicted guilt trip that occurs when you are lazy despite the messiness on your table. Just clean up first. Then relax. The overall sum of the time will remain the same, but you lose the nagging guilty feeling.
Again, a day with doing nothing to me means: only plan things that I enjoy, the rest will be handled as needed. Ensure you have time to play couch potato.
A day with doing nothing to me does never mean that I won’t do anything. Small successes and accomplishments just make me too happy.
I just get the tasks out of the way before I relax.
And this is how I also handle my work: get the little annoying and small things out of the way and just do not bother adding them to an official to do list. Just do them. Once they are out of the way, you can focus on the big stuff!