We’re all busy, right? We’ve all got a ton of things on our minds and it gets to be so hard to keep track of stuff. It’s even harder to fit in spiritual practices and make time for witchcraft.
I recently experienced this myself. I took on a lot of projects for This Crooked Crown on top of some personal projects for my own practice. Then Life reared its head. Family needed medical procedures or were sick (everyone’s OK! No worries), birthdays kept on coming, and the upcoming spring’s always a busy time with the ongoing Secret Future Plan project we’ve got going. Plus there’s the regular stuff to do too – readings, writing posts, taking photos, answering questions, and so on. There’s just a lot of stuff happening. I couldn’t keep up. It happens. Who’s got energy to cast a spell when you’ve been go-go-go all day?
I started going to bed with stress headaches and woke up with them too. That’s when I decided enough was enough and I was going to start managing my shit better. Here’s what I did.
01 Write down everything you’ve got going on
This is absolutely the number one thing I recommend. It really drives home how busy you are and lets you see what’s happening so you can start prioritizing better. You may even decide to put something on hold for a while until some other project or situation can be finalized before taking up the reins again.
I wrote down everything I was thinking, doing, and feeling. It included little stuff like a mobile game I super enjoy playing daily to big years long projects that move slowly but surely. I also included stuff like stress about politics, birthdays, and personal worries or frustrations.
Then I numbered them three times. The first time, I numbered how important they were to me. This is kind of eye opening. You’ll really begin to see what’s important to you right now. Then I numbered them according to due dates – what needs to be done when – so bills or shop orders. The final time, I numbered them in order of priority to me or others I actually care about – a friend’s birthday, for example, might be more important to me than some due date for a thing I don’t really want to do.
Now do a comparison of the numbers. You can get as mathy as you’d like with this and figure out averages or whatever. I kind of just looked for similar numbers. If I listed a lack of spiritual connectivity as personal importance to as five but on the priority/due dates they were eleven or twelve, then that’s an area I need to focus on temporarily to feel personally satisfied but not dive into a major project for. So I might do a longer meditation session to help balance that out and get some more immediate results.
Make sure you look at how important stuff is to you and how you rate it as a priority. It might be that you’re ignoring your health or self-care in order to get shit done. it could also be that you want to accomplish something because you’re excited about it but it’s not actually all that important. Could your attention and energy be spent elsewhere or do you want to follow that excitement and allocate whatever time and energy you have left after you do that?
Also look at what numbers keep coming up or coincide with those items, especially if you’re into numerology. See if there’s a correlation with your divination readings in what cards keep coming up or if there’s some numerical importance attached to those numbers. Look at numbers that have huge discrepancies – or items you forgot to number. Those things may need some attention.
Now go through that list one last time and number how you want to proceed, taking in all that data. Using those numbers, write out a to do list with at least one actionable step you can take to start on that immediately. So if a birthday is your number one concern, write something like “research birthday gift” or “go out on Tuesday and buy present”.
It’s kind of a pain but this process can be really eye opening, especially if you remember to include things that aren’t just your daily to do or mundane but spiritual stuff as well. Maybe replacing that broken altar bowl doesn’t seem important but it might be weighing on your mind more than you know.
How to make this magic: Honestly, this technique is pretty eye-opening. I would use magical ink or paper or a language to write the list one last time in order of how you want to proceed, like a to do list, to ensure that you can accomplish what you want to accomplish.
02 Turned off the electronics early
I’ll be honest. I’m definitely one of those “turn off tablet/phone/computer/TV, roll over, go to sleep” kind of people. I don’t necessarily want to be. In a dream world and life, I wouldn’t even have a TV or computer in my bedroom. But since this isn’t a dream world, I have a ton of electronics in my sleeping area. And it’s a bummer.
Once I started going to bed with stress headaches – and waking up with them, I immediately stopped using electronics actively before going to sleep. Instead, I turned everything off but my tablet and read an fiction-based e-book until I found a physical book I wanted to read. I still woke up with stress headaches but I felt immediately less stressed and slept better.
There’s some scientific data to back this up but I know personally that turning my brain off from TV and instead letting my brain imagine stories before going to bed is better for me personally. Also look into blue light filters. I noticed my eyes hurt far less when I use blue light filters at nighttime.
It’s hard, I know. But give turning off your electronics ten minutes before you go to sleep a try.
How to make this magic: Putting sigils on your phone case for energy boosting is a great idea during the day to give both you and the phone a helping hand. Removing that phone from your hand at night allows you to have less energy and, thus, sleep much easier.
Aroma stimulation may also be useful. For example, I know it’s “no electronics time” and/or bedtime when I use lavender scented products. For me, lavender is used for quiet time. You might have a different scent that triggers this so do a little research to figure your own “shut off” scent.
03 Changed your rooms’ atmosphere and energy
Our rooms have their own atmospheres and energy. Right now, I’ve stacks and stacks of books everywhere for research projects. It reminds me of my college days where I was super stressed and sick all the time. Once I identified that as a contributing factor, I swapped out some things to shift the room’s energy – and my associations – to something else.
I picked fire, wind, and light as an energy to focus on. I used citrus scents, made sure to work in brightly lite rooms, and put on wind and bell soundscapes. My stressful associations shifted away and I felt far more productive and accomplished.
I also changed out my bedding, picked up lightly about the room, and rotated some decorative pillows and throw blankets to give a subtle change. I also throw open a window for a little while to air the place out.
As a bonus, changing up the lighting, scents, and sounds can immediately affect your mood.
How to make this magic: Color symbolism helps here, but so do scents and so on. Magical correspondences are your friend here. Ringing a bell can also dissipate clustered energies.
04 Dressed to boost your mood
Ten years ago, I scoffed at wearing sweats and casual tees on a daily basis. Now it’s my go-to when I’m in a time crunch and spending the day typing on a computer.
It makes sense. Ten years ago I was super active and busy – places to go, things to do, out before the sun rises and home at the witching hour. So I had to dress appropriately for those things. Since I work from home and my only co-worker is a cat, wearing sweats and a worn tee isn’t going to make a difference in what I do.
Except it kind of does. I started to put on non-lounge clothes in the mornings. It helped, most of the time, and kept me from glancing longingly at my video game consoles. Did it make me more productive? I don’t think so, but I felt more productive and put together. I felt more of a person and less like a cat pretending to be a person, so it has to count for something.
How to make this magic: Color symbolism and recognizing what outfits make you feel good about yourself is a huge bonus here so keep an eye on that. You can also individually enchant your clothing or other items for magical boosts as well.
05 Started work before you’re actually awake
The first thing I usually do in the morning depends on whether or not I woke up with or without an alarm. If I work up with an alarm, the first thing I’m doing is turning off that alarm on my phone which inevitably means I’ll check my notifications. If I woke up without an alarm, I’ll meditation for a few minutes, do some light yoga, and grab some breakfast.
But when I’m in a crunch, the first thing I do is crawl over to my desk and start typing. Usually, this happens when I have a reading queue a mile long and a post needing to be published in three hours. If I start working the moment I’m conscious but not yet awake, then I’m less likely to get distracted before half finishing whatever I needed to do.
When I do get distracted, I’m way more likely to want to finish whatever I was doing because, well, it’s probably almost done anyway.
Don’t get me wrong – this is a terrible thing to do routinely to yourself. It may start you associating work with lack of sleep (even if it’s true) and get you thinking bitter, dark thoughts against your work. It also doesn’t guarantee good work, especially with less intuitive projects. Remember to edit and review before you hit that send button if you work in this state. A metaphor that made sense at five a.m. might not make sense at eleven a.m.
How to make this magic: Cast a magnetic-style charm to one of your desk items, like your computer mouse or a sticker on your laptop. This allows you to feel “drawn” to use an item, even subconsciously.
06 White noise generators or instrumental music
I love white noise generators. I use them ALL. THE. TIME. Literally, all the time.
White noise is a great way to get your brain to productive mode without dealing with silence or hearing too much conversation and becoming distracted. I found that if I changed out what kind of sounds I listened to, I could get shit down. When I want to work, I put on video game instrumental soundtracks (no joke! Try the Skyrim soundtrack next time you’re knocking out a boring typing project).
White noise is not a one-size fits all kind of thing. Once you get into it you realize different people find different white noise better than others. For example “brown noise” rather than “white noise” is more comforting to me – think thunder rolling over the roaring ocean rather than rain. So if you’ve tried white noise generators before, try it again but try different tones and pitches to see what works best for you.
I highly recommend the free website mynoise.net. I’m not an affiliate of the website. I just really, really love it. I also use a playlist on Spotify (I have a premium membership I share with other folks so no ads) and the app Insight Timer which is a meditation app with a community who offer white noise meditation tracks for free.
How to make this magic: Use the sounds to your advantage. I’m spiritually attached to the ocean and water in general. So my go-to sounds are all water based. If you’re attracted to the wind, they have generators and soundscapes like that too. Fire? Done. Earth? Yup, that can be handled too (forest sounds, cave sounds, farmland sounds, etc). More urban? Crowded cafe sounds are really popular. Use what makes you feel rooted and at home.
When I was younger, I never meditated. It just wasn’t me and not something I wanted or needed to do. I knew what I wanted to do and I usually had a schedule of things to do in my head. As an adult, I have a ton of stuff going on too but now I’m often pulled in so many directions I can fail to prioritize what’s actually important to me. Meditation helps me ease that.
Meditation is also my go to when I have a super long to do list and I want to figure out what I actually want to do that day. My to do list might be twenty items long but meditation gives me a moment to breath and think “OK. What’s actually important here? What can I do now for others, now that I’ve done something for myself?”
Guided meditation can be really helpful for folks who have brains that don’t like to shut up or want to achieve a particular goal. Others may do better with simple quiet meditation. It’s a personal taste sort of thing. Even a few minutes helps.
How to make this magic: Meditation is often used in magical practices but there’s a lot of guided meditations out there that can be used to achieve particular goals or help you release a lot of negative emotions. Try out some and see what proves to be helpful to you.
So that’s what I did to get my to do list down to a minimal amount. They’re simple techniques, to be sure, and you’ve probably heard them all before. That’s kind of the point. They’re stuff you’ve heard before because they work. Don’t knock them until you try them.
I know January was really hard for a lot of people. I saw a lot of people struggling with some drama and nonsense during all of that time. It can be really difficult to dig yourself out of a hole spiritually in order to really get back on track so early on in the year. Just remember that each day is a chance to start fresh. Each month is a new beginning. You can always start again. Don’t give up and remember to give yourself a chance to breathe!