Boost happiness and beat stress by banishing busy

Photography by Grace Cassio

Does each day feel like a constantly evolving and growing to-do list that spills into the next day? If so it’s time to banish busy and do less. We’re so caught up in being busy that we’re no longer achieving that much. Frantically checking things off our lists, usually prioritising insignificant things so that we can feel like we’re achieving something. Then we take a little break by checking social media. After this mini break, otherwise known as a distraction, we get straight back to being busy again. Any of this starting to sound familiar?

Having more time on our hands to savour life sounds wonderful doesn’t it? But many of us live in a way that’s more daily grind than daily joy. The only person responsible for our own happiness and version of success is ourselves. So what are you going to do about it? I suggest bucking the busy trend and doing less.

To do less yet achieve more, we must focus on the essential tasks rather than all the smaller menial tasks. Begin by placing the top three things you needed to do if all else failed, first. Then after the three most vital things were achieved, we can assess whether we continue. Imagine if you had all your important work tasks out of the way by midday? Then the rest of the day you could relax a little as the day was already so organised.

I want you to think of yourself as a gallery owner, curating an art show. What you choose to keep and what gets culled can result in a meaningful exhibition or an unbalanced show that no one really enjoys. Treat each of your days like this. Quietly curate which tasks stay, and which don’t. Think of each day as meaningful. Not something that just has to be survived.

By doing less you will be less stressed. It’s madness to think that we can successfully tackle many of the tasks we pop down on our to-do lists. The only way to decrease your stress around it is to prioritise and ask yourself the hard and truthful questions. Such as “does that actually need doing, by me, today?”

By doing less, you can achieve more. By doing less you’ll feel more calm and grounded. By banishing busy you’ll be taking control of what’s important to you in your day. The rest can either wait, or be left alone.

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Jacqui Lewis
Jacqui Lewis is a Vedic meditation teacher, wellness expert and the co-founder of The Broad Place. Embracing the attitude that you can achieve anything you set your mind to, Jacqui wears many hats. Since graduating as an interior architect in her early 20s, Jacqui has gone on to become a graphic designer, creative strategist, and is now an expert Vedic Meditation teacher. Jacqui experienced huge amounts of stress through her 20s. It was a decade characterised by incredible accomplishments, coupled with severe exhaustion and periods of intense anxiety. Following this period, Jacqui realised that Vedic Meditation was the one thing which had helped her to stay on top of it all. After a series of incredibly high-pressured projects that kept burning her out, Jacqui committed to understanding everything she could about meditation and its benefits, having witnessed the results of the practice so profoundly first-hand. With so many misunderstandings still surrounding meditation (think common questions such as “do I have to be vegan and wear hessian to meditate?”) Jacqui also decided to prove that meditation and a love of style can co-exist. She studied extensively for years with Vedic expert Thom Knoles. Then underwent a gruelling year long study program with Tim Brown in Sydney and finally graduated as a qualified teacher of Vedic Meditation, in Rishikesh, India. Together with her husband and business partner Arran Russell, Jacqui launched The Broad Place in 2013. The Broad Place is a multi-faceted brand based around modern wellbeing. It is at The Broad Place that Jacqui teaches courses in Vedic Meditation, tutors private students in mediation and stress management, runs intensive retreats and writes about all things wellness-related for the Journal on The Broad Place website.