How busy are you? If you are anything like me the answer is probably ‘manically’. We live in a time where we are constantly ‘on’ always busy and usually stressed into the bargain. Even the most enlightened individuals can find that they are on the go 24/7 not even getting restorative sleep in their quest for ‘bigger, better, faster, more’ – or possibly just to meet the demands of a career, a business, family et al.
Martina Sheehan is a Hay House author who has just released her third book, ‘Do Less Be More.’ As with her previous books, this one is co-authored with her long-time business partner Susan Pearse. Martina and Susan have spent the past two decades understanding the brain and the impacts of modern society on our success, happiness, health and wellbeing. They are leadership mentors, and in 2009 they founded Mind Gardener, a platform dedicated to translating science into practical methods to help people think differently about their life and business. I interviewed Martina recently for Hay House radio and love the fact that she and Susan take a scientific rather than merely emotive approach to this tricky subject.
Their special passion is showing people how to conquer the busy-ness that can so easily overtake our lives, and honing what they believe is the most important skill in today’s modern world – the skill of being in the present moment.
Their previous book, ‘One Moment Please; It’s Time to Pay Attention’ (2015), was a real wake-up call warning us that attention spans are getting shorter, distractions are ever-present, and that unless we take control of our precious attention, we risk missing the most important moments in our lives.
This new book focuses on a very important and often over-looked aspect of the brain: when you pause activity and step away from the hurly-burly of life, you literally open the door to intuitive insights, novel ideas, a deeper sense of meaning and purpose, and a clearer path through life. So, could it be that slowing down and allowing yourself to do less, might just be the secret to achieving a lot more?
In my interview, we talk about those light bulb moments that we can have when we are not engaged in ‘thinking’, sometimes just going for a walk can be beneficial. Most of us need to slow down, and Martina goes as far as to say boredom is beautiful, I can’t remember the last time I was ‘bored’ it has a negative connotation, we equate it with being lazy, but when my children tell me they’re bored I now say…embrace it! Invariably if I suggest they enjoy ‘doing nothing’ they find an activity – often something quite creative such as building a den or baking, but if I try and fill every moment for them, they’re back on that treadmill.
Martina suggests that we ban the word ‘busy’ from our vocabulary.
Start a ‘not to do’ list – we are all fans of the ‘to do’ list, but she says to find the silence between the noise. Make a list of what you are not going to do, either because you have delegated it to someone else (a great idea) or because you have realized it isn’t a priority.
She suggests we reclaim idle moments throughout our day, and embrace them and remember it’s OK to say ‘no’, this is something I struggle with, but Martina says a ‘no’ to something is a ‘yes’ to yourself.
‘Do Less Be More’ by Martina Sheehan and Susan Pearse is published by Hay House, you can find more info about their retreats at www.mindgardener.com