New life, who ‘dis?
April showers bring May flowers, but they also bring cleaning out our closets, cupboards, and the inevitable dust bunnies that settled during winter’s hibernation. And as the days slowly get warmer it also feels like the best time to turn that spring clean attitude on ourselves. We’re forever testing driving various cleanses and detoxes, so why not apply the same principle and give our day-to-day life the detox treatment?
After all, mercury just went retrograde (again), and will be so until May 3rd. All kinds of crazy is about to go down and we need to be well-positioned to handle it. (Mercury in retrograde can cause misunderstandings, mistakes, tech issues, and more. If you believe the hype, don’t make any big moves during this period.)
1. IDENTIFY THE TIME WASTERS
How many times do you look at your to-do list at the end of the workday, and realize that you hardly made a dent in it (instead, the list only grew). These are time wasters, and like empty calories, we need to cut them out.
Crisp advises: “As tempting as it is to think there’s a magic solution that will eliminate the time wasters in our day-to-day lives, there simply isn’t. We constantly strive for this elusive work-life balance to accomplish everything on our to-do list. So, start by throwing out that list and deciding what actually takes priority in your life. Determining your ‘why’ will keep you focused on what’s important to you.”
Whether you work at a company or for yourself, you are your personal brand—and every brand must have a “why” to serve as a mission statement and compass. "Narrow your focus in on what you can do, and do that.”
Otherwise, you run the risk of letting the time wasters in your life eat away at your day and cause you to be unproductive, and resentful as a result. So if going to SoulCycle or yoga is a priority for you, then make sure that remains a non-negotiable and cut out the other activities that aren’t in line with your mission and “happy place.”
Another way to figure out the time sucks is to write down all your daily tasks for a week and do an audit. Highlight the absolute priorities—the activities that leave you feeling on a high and in your zone, as well as the activities that simply drain you. At the end of the week, examine it and evaluate what can change. What can you get rid of and what can you outsource?
2. SAY “YES” TO YOURSELF & BE MILITANT
Crisp explains: “One of the biggest time wasters in our lives is our need to please others. This takes on so many forms, like scrolling endlessly through Instagram to make sure we know what’s going on around us and feel dialed into the conversation, or saying ‘yes’ to every social or professional request that comes our way.” Because FOMO.
“When you shift your priorities and pinpoint your ‘why’, everything starts making sense and saying ‘no’ to those annoying time wasters will soon become a thing of the past.”
If optimizing your productivity is a struggle for you, evaluate when you are most in your zone and keep that valuable time for the work that requires your creativity or focus. Then build your schedule around that. But be militant! You need to protect this time like you protect your Chanel leather bag.
Crisp offers this reminder: “Make sure to save time for managing your own needs (a.k.a. self-care). I limit my social time to people who are in my squad. Those are the people that really fuel me, so I focus a majority of my time with them.” (More on this below.)
3. EDIT YOUR SQUAD
This can be tough to do, but it’s v. necessary. Every now and then it’s important to look at the friends who make up your tribe and fill you up, and cut the ones who drain you.
Crisp explains how to get started: “I live by Jim Rohn’s words, ‘You’re the average of the five people you spend the most time with.’ When I got that concept, really got it, everything changed for me. So, I’m not afraid to usher out the old and bring in the new. I love a good purge that releases what weighs me down after the winter and gives me a fresh new perspective on what and who I want in my life.”
Look to surround yourself with people who will take you to the next level and say ‘Bye, Felicia’ to those holding you back. The best way to create space for the people you want in your life is to create it. So like a clothing and shoe purge, you need to be militant and set some people free.
Crisp continues: “Letting go is never easy, but is 100% necessary. Remember, you’re making space for what you want. Depending on the nature of the relationship, you may need to find another job, break up with a life-draining partner, or stop seeking advice from the family member whose words kill your dreams and aspirations.” C’est la—it’ll lead to a better life.
4. DO A DIGITAL DETOX
So remember those aforementioned time wasters? It’s safe to say that between scrolling all your feeds, stalking a few people and watching “one more Insta Story,” you’ve used up about 30 minutes of your morning. And afternoon. Aaand night. Try going screen-free for that first half-hour in the morning and half-hour before bed, and replacing it with reading or mindfulness instead—whatever that might be for you.
Now if you want to be extra ambitious, implement a digital detox for a week, weekend or afternoon. You can go “detox lite”—that’s cool too! The point is that breaking the habit of having a phone in your hand at all times will help you to a: be more present, b: stop checking your phone every two minutes, and c: be in control of the notifications you receive and deal with them on your time. (You’ll still be able to catch up on all your Cov news whenever you like, so no worries.)
5. DESIGNATE AN ACCOUNTABILITY PARTNER
This all becomes much easier when you vocalize your detox plan with your S.O., best friend, or someone in your circle who you trust. Putting it out there will hold you accountable and hopefully that person will check in on you and ensure you stay on track.
Crisp’s final thought: “Get out of your own way. Sometimes our biggest downfall is when we put too many demands on our time and energy. The best way to keep a fresh positive outlook on your life is by giving yourself permission to go at your own pace. Decide on one thing you would like to work towards; once you master that, consider adding another one to the mix.”