I’ve been busy trying not to be busy. It’s working. Here’s why.

Around the end of March, I figured out that I was working too much.

I’d lost my vitality. My mojo was missing.

It had been going on for a while – about 14 months – but I identified that I needed to scale down, and take this seriously.

So why now, after what has been an immense year? Here’s a few reasons.

  • I had gained almost 10kg in the past year. And I was still gaining. As well as making me feel sluggish and terrible, it was becoming a health risk.
  • My sleep was terrible – and even if I did sleep, I didn’t feel refreshed when I woke. And yes, we have young children, but it was getting worse.
  • I was working a lot of weekends and evenings trying to keep up with consultancy work, making YouTube videos and stay on top of writing blogs, social media and promoting my book too.
  • I was finding hard to make time to even spend five days off with my family in the school holidays
  • I wasn’t spending enough fun time with my family. Or my friends. Or even myself.
  • I found it hard to do even 5 push-ups.
  • I was feeling overwhelmed and burdened with a sense of responsibility for everything from earning enough for us as a family to pay the mortgage and eat, to providing advice for the Covid-19 response and recovery.

When I put all this together, I didn’t like what I was seeing. So, I resolved to do something about it.

Here’s some of the stuff I’ve been doing.

  • Started intermittent fasting again, tracking using the Zero app
  • Used the second hand spin bike I bought
  • Signed up to the Apple Fitness+ App and use it regularly
  • Cycling between cardio, HIIT and strength training for 30-60 minutes per day.
  • Going out for 30 minute walks
  • Started going to bed earlier
  • Very limited evening and weekend working
  • Took five days off with my family
  • Started turning down work and media opportunities that didn’t fit in with my core purpose. Or was needed too quickly, at strange times, or that took me too far away from what I was already doing. I find it hard to re-focus once I’ve been distracted in this way
  • Eating more healthily, with more protein, good fats, and finishing eating by 7pm latest.

All in all, it’s been going really, really well. Even after a bout of norovirus that steadily made its way through our whole family – not a pleasant week, I can tell you. I’ve lost  8kg in about 6 weeks, and my clothes have started fitting me much better again. I’m spending more quality time with my wife and our children, and my work is still fine. I’ve just dropped things that weren’t working for me anymore, and have doubled down on the stuff I’m loving doing – like writing. And you know what? I’m going to write about all this. Not in a driven, short deadline driven way, but in a way that perhaps people like me – who have families and in their early 50s (or a bit younger or a bit older, who find themselves with busy desk-jobs, full diaries, and slowing metabolisms) to try to find a way out of a slow decline to feeling bad, and just walking through life with a sense of purpose and vitality. To rediscover their mojo.

Because, for a while there, I’d lost mine.

If this resonates with you, I’d love to hear from you – drop me a comment below and let’s talk.

2 thoughts on “I’ve been busy trying not to be busy. It’s working. Here’s why.

    • Dr. Sarb Johal says:

      Thanks, fella. And I’ve especially enjoyed hanging out for late breakfasts and chats over the past few weeks. More, please!

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