I recently flew to Australia from Los Angeles with my then 12-yr-old daughter. Upon arrival, we had to quarantine for two weeks in an airport hotel room, and it was two of the most productive, joyful, effective and fulfilling two weeks I’ve had in a long time.
Before we left, I identified the five things I needed to include in each day that would help me feel purposeful, productive and successful. Those 5 things were:
Because we essentially couldn’t leave the room, I was in no hurry to complete any of my 5 activities. Instead of only spending 10 or 20 minutes on gratitude, I allowed myself a full hour if I wanted or needed it. And then I spent a full hour meditating and then another hour exercising. By the time our lunch was brought up to us, I felt like I’d had a full day but I’d only done three things. In the afternoon, I’d enjoy one or a few great conversations with friends and then I’d indulge in 2 or so hours of learning. By sunset, I’d feel amazing! I felt lit up, inspired, creative, productive and so full. I’m almost embarrassed to admit but I really didn’t miss the outside world at all.
In contrast, when we left quarantine I was suddenly so busy again. You’d think I would have felt thrilled to be “free” again but I felt oddly disquieted and uneasy. I was in the most gorgeous natural environment and it was like stepping into a movie set called “paradise” but I felt fractious, frustrated and a little irritable.
It took me a few more weeks to work out just how powerful that simplification had really been but when I did, I experimented. For 3 days, I replicated my quarantine routine to see how I felt. Sure enough, I was on top of the world again, and exponentially more so because I was also in a spectacular natural environment.
You don’t have to do everything you think you do. You really don’t. It will all be there waiting for you tomorrow. Try a week of majorly simplifying your day and only committed to the top 3-5 activities that you know will really fill your cup and see how you feel.