Tired of always feeling overwhelmed, running late, never having quite enough time to get it all done? Here are a few reminders to help you get a handle on how to spend your time wisely.
- First, realize you can’t do it all—and you don’t have to.
- Understand that for everything you agree to do, you’re going to have to choose not to do something else. Choose wisely. And don’t feel guilty for choosing “me time” or family time over baking three dozen more cupcakes.
- Practice saying, “Thank you for considering me, but I’m unable to help at this time” and “I’ll have to think about it and get back to you.”
- Ask for help and relinquish control. Your friends and family want you to be happier and less stressed—and they probably really do want to feel like they’re contributing to keeping things running smoothly. Kids can pitch in. Assign age-appropriate chores and congratulate them on the made bed, even if it doesn’t have hospital corners. Give your spouse/partner some tasks (and don’t criticize the results). And call in the professionals when necessary. Paying for help can buy you time, and that’s definitely a good investment, not an indulgence.
- Don’t add anything to your to-do list unless it adds value to your life one way or another—either immediately or long-term. This isn’t to say that you shed all responsibilities or only do things you want to do. That’s not realistic. Just make sure most of what you take on (especially the stuff you don’t enjoy!) is really worth it in some respect to you and your family. And, okay, you know there have to be things on that list that probably don’t add much value, but try to keep those to a minimum.
- Know that rest and relaxation really aren’t optional. You’ll be able to get more done—and done better—if you’ve gotten enough sleep and don’t feel like you’re at the end of your rope.
Bottom line is, be aware that you’re making choices every day about how you spend your time and always consider exactly what those choices are. Thinking about that can’t actually make time, but it can help you make the most of the time you have. Of course, you already know that, but when you’re caught up in trying to get everything done and keep your head above water, it’s easy to forget. So take a minute. Step back and gain a little perspective. Sign up for the things that matter. Skip the things that don’t. And if you need help, you know where to find us.