Oddly enough, the more I think about the things I need to get done, the less productive I become.
Last week, for example, I couldn't focus to save my life and made very little headway on a work project that I'm actually very excited about.
It's why I kept this photo and some video of the water on my phone. It's from Giant Springs State Park, here in Great Falls, and it's a spot my friend Sophia and I love to walk to.
Something about the sound of water, the wind in the trees and the peaceful stillness of the park is incredibly calming.
I was flipping through an old issue of Time the other day, in an effort to clear clutter, I read all my back issues that I'm behind on so I could toss them, and read another article about how time in nature is really good for us.
This particular article talked about the reduction of stress and anxiety and the improved ability of your brain to function.
Seems simple right? Spend more time outside, improve your life? Right, except all those emails, tasks, chores and to-do lists.
A co-worker/friend invited us to kayak the Missouri River from Carters Ferry back to Fort Benton on Sunday and at one point I worried about spending an entire day away from those lengthy to-do lists.
Guys, it was the best day.
And so relaxing that I didn't look at social media or email that night or even much the next day, since I was off work.
I often feel tied to my inbox and guilty for all the emails I never get to. But, the less I looked at my inbox the last few days, sure enough, the better I felt. And, I had more time to cross off things on my to-do list. Like read a fascinating book related to that work project I'm so excited about. And clean out my closet and finally fill up that ThredUp bag that's been sitting on the counter for ages. And mail birthday and anniversary cards to family. Bake, make dinner, run, play with the dogs and watch an episode of Turn with M.
It's not the new year and not a resolution, but my goal for even September is to spend less time worried about my inbox and more time outside soaking in all the gloriousness around me in nature. Plus, the sheep need water.
How do you reduce stress and stop worrying about your inbox, to-do lists?