Something’s Gotta Give!
The question is: How many minutes are in a 24-hour day?
The questions is: How many hours do you get in a day if you really really really need more than usual?
It doesn’t matter how crunched you are for time, and how many more projects you add to your schedule, you will STILL get the same number of minutes and hours as everybody else.
What this means for you in terms of being stressed out and frantic is that “something has got to give” — you’ve got to make room for the new by dropping the old. Here’s how:
- Do NOT give up sleep time on a regular basis. When you steal sleep time — a prevalent strategy for new parents or when you have way too much to do — you set yourself up to be stressed out very quickly. Your body needs routine rest. Get it. Or risk the consequences.
- When prepping for a vacation, many people notice they manage to get more than usual amounts of work done at work and at home. Someone might even scold them for not always being this efficient, or they read an article touting the benefit of always working at top speed. Do take notice if there is some more efficient method you’ve used, and incorporate that in your work mode. But also be aware that you probably went at a breakneck speed that you can’t maintain except for short bursts. So be kind to yourself. Enjoy your vacation, and come back rested and renewed, but don’t whip yourself to impossible speeds on a daily basis.
- Notice how much time you devote to low-level tasks. Low level is something that gives you a poor return on your investment of time and energy. Many of these tasks sneak onto your list by virtue of default that no one else will do them and you think they need to be done. At home, they might include things like polishing the silver and dusting knickknacks — guess what? If you box them up and put them in a closet, you don’t have to take care of them. (No fair boxing up your kids until they are old enough to move out. Do keep them on your “Take care of” list.)
- Decluttering can be a tremendous timesaver — when you’re crunched and need to get rid of “something” on your schedule, look for things that you can put aside even temporarily. As with the knickknacks, remind yourself that you might have time for them again at a later point, so remove them from your list without guilt! If you’ve “always” spent an hour chatting with buddies over coffee, but you really would like to spend that hour on a project important to you, then something’s gotta give. Don’t get rid of all your social interaction and break time, because you need stress relief, but see where you can trim — cut that hour to 30 minutes, cut another 20 minutes from unnecessary errands, and another 10 from dawdling over deciding what to wear today. There’s your “found” hour.
As you see, when you pile on something new and your brain protests “I ain’t got time for this!” you will have to find healthy ways to manage the addition to your schedule, or your mind will find a way to shut you down with a stress burnout and get the rest it needs.
Burnout is no fun. Prevent it by taking time to rest, exercise, de-stress and relax each day.
your happiness guru,