How to chase away 'busy' and start living

Sally having a solo picnic

Sally having a solo picnic



1. having a great deal to do.
"he had been too busy to enjoy himself"
synonyms: occupied (in), engaged in, involved in, employed in, working at, labouring at, toiling at, slaving at, hard at work (on), wrapped up (in/with)

How sad and how droll does that word sounds. And yet, it has somehow become a badge of honor. If one is not soooooo busy and always in a flap, then is one really living one's life to the fullest?!

Well, quite the opposite actually. As we all get wrapped up in 'busy'; working long hours, drinks with friends, drinks with colleagues, the gym, yoga, that pottery class, reading a book a week, writing that blog post, a coffee and a catch up, a run, a family birthday, and a mini break - and somewhere in there we eat, wash and sleep - we have in fact missed so much of the world. Filling your life with 'stuff' that you forget to notice it, because how could you notice it? You're too flipping knackered and panicking about getting to your next appointment.

Do less. (simple to say)

I write this not only as a lesson we've learned over our careers but also as a reminder to ourselves. Busy is a sneaky little bugger, and it'll creep up on you when you're least expecting it, pulling at your eyelids at 2 am, making you think about everything you've ever known for 3 hours in the night.

But we really must try to do less. Here are some tips that we've found half useful (please tell us if you have some great ones too!):


  • Find moments to just go out for a walk (or run) alone.
    Time alone, to just slowly mull over whatever is on your mind, to think about and maybe to let go of some thoughts. You'll return home that much calmer, and probably with a plan of action.


  • Go somewhere beautiful
    Mother nature doesn't half put things into perspective!


  • Sometimes say no
    If you're tired if you're stressed, not in the mood, just need a break - then take one. Don't allow FOMO dictate your life.


  • Plan in quality time
    If you're worried about not seeing friends or family enough - block out some time in your diary one weekend to spend time with them, and just them. No distractions, not worrying about what else you should be doing. With enough advanced warning, you can shape your other responsibilities around it.


  • Plan in days of nothing
    Try to leave days or even entire weekends of nothing. Just potter around the house, go for a walk, cook nice food and chill.


  • Do one thing at a time
    We block out days per project. A little light emailing sneaks in first and last thing, but a solid few hours, our brains just focus on one task. Yes, women are meant to be able to multi-task, but that doesn't mean we should, and it definitely doesn't mean we'll be producing the best work.


We're still learning every day, and as busy keeps finding a way in, we need to find new tricks to keep it at bay.