How Good Are You At Being Rather Than Doing?
I don’t know about you, but when it comes to evenings, weekends or holiday times, I find it hard to stop doing things.
Winding down feels like an effort that I haven’t got the energy for!
I also find myself having a battle with my thinking …
“I need to do ‘X’ …”
“I should get ‘Y’ done today.”
“If I get ‘Z’ done today I’ll feel better.”
“… And that To Do list isn’t going to get done on its own!”
Any of those resonate for you?
I’m very aware of my thinking around this, particularly acknowledging that I’ve brought my work ethic from teaching into how I work in my business.
But ‘busyness’, and often the resulting overwhelm, are not just the realms of the teaching profession. I’ve come across it via my coaching and training with other public and private sector organisations.
One of my personal goals this year involves getting a better balance between BEING and DOING.
As with all goals, I like to be clear about what I mean, so I’m defining ‘being’ as:
- existing in the moment / being present
- being more aware and appreciative of my surroundings
- ignoring distracting thoughts
This definition is very similar to mindfulness, with the exception of appreciating my surroundings, which includes an element of judgement (not part of the mindfulness idea). Nevertheless, this is working for me right now.
What does BEING mean to you? We’re all different, so how would YOU define it?
I know first hand how hard it can be to stop, or even to pause! It’s hard to stop doing when there are always things to do. You can get really good at talking yourself into why you must do something.
But energy is finite, and if you don’t balance doing with being, there may come a time when you have no choice. So here are some thoughts about how you might create being moments for yourself.
My tips for creating and enjoying BEING moments
1. Firstly, define ‘BEING’
If you weren’t busy doing lots of ‘stuff’, what would you experience? If you took away your daily distractions, and regular To Do list tasks, what would be left? What else can you say about BEING? Only when you’re clear about what this means for you will you achieve success with it.
2. Change your expectations about how you spend your time
If you like to be active, change your priorities so you can relax into your moments of BEING, and not feel that you should be doing. See this as setting time aside to RESTORE yourself. Think of these precious moments as a necessity rather than a luxury that you may feel guilty about enjoying.
3. Find a suitable place
This isn’t just about avoiding being disturbed by others, it’s also about avoiding distractions. So choose places where your surroundings aren’t going to be a distraction. Places that are over-busy, even if people are ignoring you, can make BEING difficult, unless you’re good at tuning out distractions and unhelpful noise.
4. Set yourself protected time to BE … anything from a few minutes upwards, depending on what’s realistic to achieve. (Use your phone or other device / timer, so you don’t get distracted looking at the time.)
5. Review and adjust
Every now and then, spend a few minutes reviewing how your BEING moments are impacting on your wellbeing. Adjust where necessary. This includes adjusting your definition of it too, so that it works best for you.
Enjoy your BEING moments!
Thank you for taking the time to read this blog post.
I’m Debbie Inglis, executive coach, trainer & supervision coach, working across the UK and Internationally with leaders and their teams to maximise leadership performance, create more effective, confident, and motivated teams … in a way that brings out the best in them.