As well as running The Anti-Fitness Project, I also work twice a week behind a bar. The problem with working behind a laptop is that actual human contact doesn’t happen as often as when I worked in a gym. It’s nice to spend a couple of nights randomly chatting to new people. It also allows me some awesome people watching opportunities.
Recently I worked a stupidly busy shift at the restaurant. Like, two coaches full of drunk football supporters twinned with the craziness of a Mother’s Day weekend with families “treating” their matriarchs to a night off cooking dinner. But that night it wasn’t the customers who gave me people watching entertainment, it was the staff.
All of us staff were slammed with work. The same amount of work.
Half of us approached the busyness in a methodical and chilled out way. We worked in a relaxed “fuck yeah it’s busy but let’s get it done and bloody enjoy it”. The other half of the staff were nothing short of hilarious to watch. Stress and complaints and rushing around, but not actually achieving anything expect maybe a headache.
Guess which half of us, and felt like they’d had a damn good night? And who do you think stressed themselves into problems which didn’t exist causing themselves more work and more busyness?
I feel sorry for the people that bring pointless stress into their lives. But the problem goes a little bit deeper than just me feeling a little bad. Stress and busyness have, oddly, become a badge of honour for adults. When I was at school – and I think it’s still the same in education now – it was “cool” to do as little as possible. Not doing your homework and boasting that instead you were in the park with your mates made you the awesome, rebellious one. I don’t know at what age this changes. But it does.
Functioning on zero sleep, working 57 hours overtime, and being so stressed that you need to down a bottle of wine to chill out has become the new adult “cool”. What the actual fuck! Check your Facebook newsfeed right now and see how many of your friends are “celebrating” how stressed they are.
Don’t get me wrong, I love to fill my day with stuff. But my stuff comes under two distinct categories… productive or fun. Not busyness. If I have a busy and stressful day it means that I have either not planned properly or that I’ve not been efficient enough. My aim is to become less busy, not more so. If I work hard and work smart, I can create more free time for myself to have fun. And you can imagine how much your life can change if you have more fun.
Yes, it may seem that I have an easy life. I have no kids, I only have to be in a proper job for two days a week. But my to-do list is a long as anyone else’s. I have just found a few ways to make my life far more productive:
- I don’t multi task. It doesn’t work. I put all my focus into whatever task I’m doing. Whether that be at work or at play. I try to stay in the present as much as I can.
- I put my stress into perspective. Was the customer in the bar going to die if he had to wait an extra minute for his pint? Fuck no. He can wait, and I can do my job methodically and well, every single time. And I’m pretty sure he’d rather have a chilled-out barperson with a smile than a slightly aggressive woman screaming “what do you want?” at him.
- I don’t take on more than I can handle. I know my limits. It’s pointless to try and add new tasks and new positive habits into your day when you’re struggling with what you’re already doing. I am improving my life and my business 1% at a time.
So stop celebrating being busy and thinking of a day in the park with your kids as a treat for yourself. Plan that shit into your day as hard as you plan doing the washing, or finishing the invoices.
Life is about enjoyment. Not about busyness.
Stay chilled, you beautiful weirdos!
(The Anti-Fitness Trainer)
P.S. Special shout out to Lauren who shared my chilled attitude and need for laughter during that crazy shift!