the llama blog
practicing yoga off the mat.
September will forever be “back to school” season for me. I always associate this time of the year when summer cools to fall as a mini New Year or even just a time to check in with myself. I love leaving behind the laziness of summer and finding a fall routine.
This summer, I heard about the book, Do Less by Kate Northrup. Kate and her husband both work from home. When they had their first child, they couldn’t take off time or didn’t have a ton of money to afford childcare services. So, they reworked their schedules so they alternated days when one would work and one would be with their child. They did the same about of work and made the same if not more money by working less hours. They were focused and had a clear vision of what they wanted out of their work and home lives.
I wanted that clear vision that naturally gets foggy after savoring long warm nights and jumping into cool pool waters. And I was ready to listen and notice the patterns in my days, weeks and months.
Kate offers 10 experiments in her book to practice and realign your focus. I especially liked the one titled “Discover What Really Matters to You.” In part one, she asks you to answer the following questions:
In part two, she asks that you make two columns on a piece of paper. In the first column, write down all the tasks that occupy your day. In column two, jot down what you consider your biggest wins to date. I found the second column harder to quantify for home life than for work. For me, some of my biggest wins were creating a peaceful home environment, enjoying a deeper relationship with my children and thriving during the day. Other ideas may include developing new friendships, maintaining a healthy lifestyle, and changing a bad habit.
Once you make your lists, you then draw a line from each task that directly contributed to your win. Those are the activities or tasks you should focus on 80% of the time. In my own personal list, I noticed I spend a lot of time with technology, and not getting much in return. This month, I’m monitoring how I use my media time and if it directly helps me achieve what I want to do. When it does, I’ll continue the behavior, and when I find myself scrolling on Instagram because I’m bored, I’ll put down the phone and meditate or read.
In all, I highly recommend this book for anyone looking to refocus this fall. Do less and feel more empowered.