{This is life} What to do in your dead time

Successful people seems to have this whole time management thing down pat. Seriously, you don’t hear people like Oprah or Richard Branson twiddling their thumbs between meetings and making paper aeroplanes do you?

Well, I reckon, in my highly unqualified yet enthusiastic opinion that these people know how to utilise time in their day for better purposes. You know when you do your things during the day, brush your teeth, drop the kids at school, have a shower and then the little bits of time between doing those daily tasks is a thing I call ‘dead time’.

Dead time is often only a few minutes but it is time that can easily be absorbed by doing nothing, or you know twiddling thumbs and making paper aeroplanes. It took me a while to realise (because I am el-averageo at maths) that just five minutes a day of dead time adds up to 35 minutes a week or nearly two and half hours a month. If you really want to get drastic it is 30 hours a year! So there is 30 hours of your year that is just dead time.

It is unlikely you are relaxing because any good chilling takes more than five minutes to achieve. You’re not likely to be doing anything particularly effective, nor are you likely to be motivated. So, that my friends is where dead time comes in.

You can choose to utilise your dead time in a magnitude of ways. I have recently found that doing a little bit of mental health rehab during my dead time has assisted me greatly.

LISTEN TO THE PEOPLE

I have discovered a love of TED Talks. The talks are brilliant and I literally dare you to not be interested in at least one of the talks. TED talks are based on the philosophy of ‘Ideas Worth Spreading’. These talks range from motivational to emotional, moving to inspirational. The cover form and function, emotion and technology. They are a brilliant way to learn a lot about something in a very short amount of time.

If you like listening then I am sure you could find a podcast that is to your liking. Podcasts are literally everywhere and are the easiest way to find out about anything you have ever wondered about. The topics and content associated with podcasts are varied and often unexpected but informative and entertaining. You can listen to commercial radio or investigations into crime. You can learn about cosmic energy or learn about each song the Spice Girls ever made. They are great to listen to while driving or even vacuuming. Keep you brain active and you will be rewarded – well at least your trivia game will be next level strong.

LIST IT

If you take a couple of minutes of dead time and prepare a couple of lists of things that need to be done you will shortly realise how much of a big difference that can make to you. Just a simple list of house chores or a grocery list can help assist your mind to be clear. I find the simplest list of all is preparing a meal plan breakdown for our family. If I do this I save myself from the ridiculous anxiety of having to think what to feed the family every night, it doesn’t seem like much but it really makes a difference.

list

MEDITATE LIKE A BOSS

Meditation is the simplest way to achieve clarity and possible the best way to utilise five minutes of dead time. There are a bunch of apps that can help get you in your happy place and recharge you quicker than you can say ‘I need 8 hours sleep’. Check out the ‘buddhify’ ‘Calm’ or ‘Headspace’ Apps to get you started.

TAKE ME TO BED

Make your bed. This job literally takes three minutes at the ABSOLUTE maximum and makes you feel good all bloody day.

bed

CLUTTER IN THE GUTTER

Choose a place in your house and chuck the crap. I find the handbag is the el-grando cluttering spot in my house – that or the dining table so I often spend no more than two minutes literally chucking out the receipts and bits of paper that clutter your house and build up without you really knowing. You generally don’t need more than a couple of minutes to really make a big difference.

CUP OF LIFE

Make a cup of tea and just sit. Don’t let it get cold on the bench. Don’t talk a phone call. Just make a full cup of tea and drink it in one sitting. Often as a parent you don’t prioritise the power of a cuppa but those Brits are on to something I am sure of it. In my house we have recently implemented the following motto “first we drink the tea then we do the things”.

tea

LANGUAGE UP

Did you ever think you could learn a language in just a few minutes everyday? Download an app and then just learn a word or two a day. You might not be speaking fluent Japanese within a week but you will eventually get there. Eventually you can improve your skill by reading a newspaper online in the language that you are learning. Just a few minutes can make your tongue more talented.

JOURNAL

Get a journal and write in it. Sounds simple enough doesn’t it? Well, all the cool kids are doing it because once you write something it sticks with you. Did you know schools like Harvard actually refuse to let their students take notes on computers – rather telling them to bring a notepad and pen. Write down your feelings, write down your day, heck just write what you are grateful for. A good mind makes for good health.

journal

BE MINDFUL

The moment you recognise how much difference can be made by just doing little things in your dead time the more successful you will be. Being mindful is not something you will learn overnight but I promise once you realise how much more valuable your time can be you will realise its importance and just how quickly it can add up.

 

*IMAGES: Pinterest*

{The Nest Christmas} THINK just a little differently about Christmas this year

It’s Christmas time again. You’re running around the shops like it’s the final mile in a marathon, trying to throw in the trolley something for your mother in law’s boyfriend that you hope you didn’t buy him last year. The Christmas carols sound like the high-pressure music they play at the end of a gameshow, and if one more pensioner bumps into you while reaching for the cold meat, you won’t be held responsible for your actions. This is everyone’s experience at this pointy end of the year.gift

It’s funny that the culmination of a years worth of work, ends with a frenzy of shopping, purchasing and more hard work.

This year, I would like to put forward an idea for something a little bit different. I know you still have to purchase presents for those important loved ones, you still have to provide a meal for all of your visitors on the big day, but this year I want us to do something different – I want us to THINK.

Be aware, be present, be mindful and be thankful.friends

This is not a preachy kind of post, it is a chance to be aware of how much we have and ask ourselves, how much do we really need? This Christmas, THINK about what your family truly needs when you are gift giving. Are you just buying an extra present because there doesn’t look enough under the tree? Are you just buying them something because you feel you have to? We have all received gifts at some point that we say thank you for, but know they will be hidden in a cupboard for years. This year, don’t buy a gift card just to give someone money because you can’t think of a gift.

Your relationship is the gift!

Hold them close, tell them how much they mean to you and what you’ve loved about the year you’ve experienced together. Make some time to sit with your family without using your phone. Make a connection with them and enjoy the way that just been together feels. Play board games or just take a walk around your neighbourhood. Visit your neighbours and spread goodwill in the community. There are so many people around the world with so little, please be mindful when you purchase groceries. A big meal on Christmas is a great tradition and one that is enjoyed by all, but should there be so much leftover and thrown out over the coming days? All I ask is that you THINK when purchasing your food and not waste food you don’t need. We are all being advertised to in such a way that over indulgence has become indicative of the season, and saying no to anything seems almost impossible. I can guarantee a day with your family sitting around, really connecting, without the demands of phones and social media would mean much more then a day of excess food and gifts. If you have an opportunity to donate, do so. No matter how big or small your donations are, it’s a way of recognising how lucky we are and that we have enough. There are so many charities out there that cater for all sorts of needs in the global community. If you have children, suggest they purchase a small gift for another child their age who will not be so lucky this Christmas. There are so many places in Our area that will hand out these gifts on your behalf to needy families. Go global. THINK about the world we live in, not just our small part of it. You can purchase a prosthetic leg for a landmine victim in Cambodia or purchase a goat, a pig or a chicken for a small family in Africa. Provide clean drinking water to people who desperately need it, donate to the conservation of your favourite animal, or, if your family has unfortunately been affected by an illness this year, donate to the corresponding charity to help find a cure. I want you to enjoy your Christmas. I want you to have the meals and the gifts that your family deserve.family

All this post is trying to do is make you THINK. We are all global citizens and there is so much going on in this world right now that affects us all.

Christmas is an amazing time to celebrate our love for one another. This year let’s just engage our brains before we go down the road of over indulgence and wastefulness. You don’t need to slave all day in the kitchen to provide a massive meal for your family, ease up on what you purchase and remember that presence is way more important than presents.

Happy Holidays.

lauren2