The other half of FGRLS CLUB’s editing team, Sara, recently spoke about how to get shit done from the POV of a self-confessed lazy person. I’m here to talk about the opposite, for those of you who sit on the other side of this coin. Ask anyone in my life and they’ll tell you I’m a complete workaholic. I’ve been known to answer emails at the club, hold down the equivalent of four jobs at one time, go over a month without even taking a Sunday off. I’ll work a 13 hour day, come home and spend two hours doing freelance work, then wake up and do it all again. This isn’t healthy, and we need to stop using being busy and stressed as a qualifier for success.
1. Stop seeking perfection
Easier said than done, but not everything has to be perfect. Stop racing, for just one minute. No one will notice if you don’t answer an email in 0.03 seconds. There’s so much enjoyment to be found in slowing down. This weekend, I decided to turn off all my emails and cancel all my plans. I’ve spent the last two days catching up on podcasts, drinking coffee, having long baths and reading magazines. My room’s a mess, my hair hasn’t been brushed in two days, and I’ve eaten 8 pieces of toast. Sometimes, being lazy and unproductive, is the most productive thing you can do – come Monday, I’ll be refreshed and ready to tackle the new week. Had I ticked off my endless to-do list of life admin, and been caught in a pile of laundry, I’d be just as stressed come Sunday as I had been on Friday. Note to self: slow the fuck down, sometimes.
2. Not everything needs a goal
Recently, I’ve had the realisation that every small task I do, has a goal. Being goal-oriented is great, but there need to be joy in just doing. Love cooking? Then do it for the sake of doing it. Don’t meal prep and freeze it. Just cook a big roast, and eat it then and there. Don’t restrain from finishing off the roasties because ‘you need them for lunch tomorrow’.
3. Find some quiet
I’ve realised that my constant need to ‘do’ comes down to an innate fear of quiet. We’re all constantly scrolling, listening, watching, consuming. This keeps us busy, but means we never actually stop doing. Being completely alone with my thoughts terrifies me, and this restricts me from having a proper conversation with myself. How can we know how we feel, or how we’re doing, if we never listen to our own thoughts, uninterrupted? It’s easy to avoid silence, because there’s always something to do. That dish that needs scrubbing, that thank you card that needs sending, that lightbulb that needs changing. My advice, is to stop making everything feel so urgent. Can that dish be done tonight? Yes? Good. Now, get yourself a coffee and go sit in the park. Don’t bring your phone or any reading material. Just go and sit.
4. Step off the hamster wheel
I haven’t nailed this one yet. But it’s a work in progress. Step off the hamster wheel, tap out of the rat race. Nowadays we’re always racing- racing to work, racing to the bar, racing to the weekend. Wait for the next tube, rather than lodging yourself between someone’s armpit. Don’t get FOMO, when you really aren’t missing out – you didn’t want to go to that party, you wanted to sit in the bath. So don’t incessantly watch Instagram Stories and feel like you could be missing the best night out ever. There have been hundreds of nights spent in dimly lit bars, and there will be hundreds more.
5. Don’t plan so much
This is going to make me sound too Type A to function, but the extent to which I organise my life is completely out of control. And just another way to constantly do more shit. I have a trello board for every part of my job (that’s 15, FYI), two planners that are specific down to the half hour, 4 email accounts for my various pursuits, reminders constantly set on my phone, and a forever-filled-out calendar. Keeping up with kind of organisation is a full time job all by itself. Yes, being organised is great, but you really needn’t plan every aspect of life. It takes all the fun out of it. A few months ago I made an excel sheet for dates I was going on – this has now been deleted. Too far, Chloe, too far.
Hit me up on Twitter for any advice on how to stop doing all of the shit. Clearly, I still need a lot more help.