Doing less (and feeling fine about it)

21 February 2019

Every now and then I remember that weekends are for chilling out - not just getting a bunch of things done. This hit me a few Sundays ago, when I was planning to go the farmers markets, do my meal prep for the week, wash the car, and then as a reward - take myself out to lunch.

By 11.30am I'd done two of those things and was already hungry and exhausted. So I went back to bed to read, snack and write and called it a day.

The day before, I'd read an article (via Cup of Jo) about how scheduling our free time can make us unhappy. For someone who even makes to-do lists on holidays, it was a revelation. It also reminded me of a really sweet concept called 'should-less days' that I'd heard about on Death, Sex & Money a couple of years ago from Ellen Burstyn.

"I only do what I want to do. And if it's a nap in the afternoon or watch TV, and eat ice cream, I get to do it," she said. "I have wiring in my brain that calls me lazy, if I'm not doing something. I haven't been able to get rid of it. But what I can do is I can put in another wiring, I can put in should-less days, so when that voice goes off and says you're being lazy, I turn to the other wiring in my brain that says, no, this is a should-less day, and I'm doing what I want."

And while we're here, this interview with Heather Havrilesky struck a chord.

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