I was 17. And I just wanted to get out of there.

I was flat on my back in Savasana (rest) at the end of my very first yoga class. And I couldn’t see the point in just lying there! I had a million social events and bits of life admin to attend to, and taking 5 minutes to just rest and breathe seemed pointless. Unproductive. A waste of time.

It was 5 years before I took another class.

The problem was, I was a victim of the cult of ‘busy’. It’s the badge of honour. The signal to our peers that we are very important people doing very important things. It’s the marker of 21st century success.

In the cult of busy, taking a breather is sacrilegious. Probably because we’re not visibly achieving and producing anything (oh hey there Capitalism!) So instead, we just keep running faster and faster on the hamster wheel, and then wonder why we feel so completely wiped out.

Unless we’re willing to make some pretty hefty lifestyle changes, some degree of busyness is our reality. But there are things we can do get deliberate about how we spend our days.

1. Say ‘no’ more often

As a recovering people-pleaser, saying ‘no’ is hard. We don’t want to let people down, or damage relationships. What can be helpful is explaining to that person the true cost of a ‘yes’. People are (on the whole) pretty reasonable when you communicate clearly about why you’re turning down a task, event or favour.

 2. Curb procrastination

Mission numero uno for 2019 is to STOP THE SCROLL! I put my phone out of sight when I’m trying to get something done. It gets done faster = I have more time = I am less busy. Simples.

 3. Take a break

This can require so much discipline, especially in high pressure work environments when deadlines are looming. Again - clear communication about why you need to take a break can help get rid of the guilt. A mindful 2 minute stretch or walk will bring you back fresh, clear, and ready to tackle that to-do list.