Making It All Work

Making It All Work

How many times in your adult life have you said to yourself, “if only there was more time in the day”?

Why do we wish for more time in the day, and fret over it’s passing?

Glad you asked: If you’re like me, it’s to fulfill every - last - daily obligation or task I’ve committed to in order to rise to the occasion; to live my best life. By the way this doesn’t just apply to my career, it’s also (and more importantly) at home, in my personal life: my marriage, relationships, my health and wellness, ect. ect. ect.

It can be exhausting... if you let it.  

Fortunately, for the human race, we can cultivate a mindset that focuses on the positive and joyful aspects also present in the unwavering to do lists we create for ourselves.

Here’s what I do to tame my to do list and free myself from any limiting beliefs a busy lifestyle can create. Learn from my personal adventure into reframing my take on living a busy life.

  • Step One: Have a plan

  • Step Two: Build In Breaks/Care

  • Step Three: Be Open to Growth

  • Step Four: Power Down

  • Step Five: Rest/Recover  

Step One: Have a plan

As “they say” - failing to plan, is planning to fail. “They” is right when it comes to breaking the habit of living in overwhelm. The first step to feeling better about the pace at which life is moving is to insert your force and control into the mix. Get ahead of the curve.

Ask yourself these questions:

  1. Do you have any major professional deadlines coming due in the next 30 days?

  2. Are there important events like birthdays, anniversaries, annual doctor visits, etc.

  3. Bonus points: Do any of the above events require gifts, or other prework that needs to be completed prior to attending?

  4. When’s your next scheduled down time - a long weekend, a real vacation, seeing a show, hanging out with friends, or how about a date night - or alone time with your spouse, significant other, or … cat/dog/insert the name of your cute adorable animal (I KID)?

Don’t have an answer to these questions? Well, then you don’t have a sufficient enough plan to  halt your inner critic.

Getting ahead of “all the things” in your life by planning ahead and installing routines to keep your life organized are key to managing your life, energy, and emotions.

My current guide for having a plan:

  • Use a Full Focus Planner (or journal), Google Cal, and iCal to house every all my meetings, events, appointments, and time off. I try to stay aware of events and tasks happening in the next 30 days, but always have a strong view into my next 7 days.

  • Taking action on tasks based on priority using an Eisenhower Matrix

  • Being proactive by setting the upcoming week’s schedule every Sunday -

  • Creating and executing a morning routine, a routine when you get to the office, a routine for leaving the office, and finally a routine to close out my day. I also have a few smaller routines set up like working out in the evening at least 5x/week

Step Two: Breaks & Self Care

The longer I live, and the more people I interact with, the clearer it is -- we do not value -- and thus do not prioritize down time. Today’s culture continues to prop up the idea of always being on - going strong, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

But if you want to unlock a life you love - you have to get serious about caring for your body and just as important, your mind on a regular cadence with rest and recovery.

When you think about your life - you think of work as the thing you do (the place you go) to earn a living. It wasn’t until recently that I began to slow down enough to become aware of all the other WORK in my life: running errands, cooking and cleaning, following up on personal appointments, maintenance of various items I own.

So many little things … when compounded

end up being pretty big.

Really seeing my reality for the first time then, I decided to get ahead of my schedule (to my previous point).

My current guide for breaks & self care:

  • Schedule one full day a month to do exactly what I want to do - no second guessing, no limitations. You may scoff and say, “that’s impossible with my schedule” (and for some it may be) -- however, for most, it’s possible. It will most likely take you looking ahead, making some changes to your routines, etc. but the payoff of taking a whole day to fill your cup is well worth the upfront expense.

  • Take many small breaks during the day to sit in silence. If you want to keep your stress levels down, you must learn to calm the inner critic. If you want to calm your inner critic, you must be aware of when he/she is acting out. If you want to be aware of your critic, you must be mindful. Practice holding your attention on your breathe, as you breath in and out, for one minute -- as many times a day as you can.

  • Practice self care, daily. Self care can mean many things - to each is their own. I personally enjoy meditating, taking a hot bath, watching a funny movie, listening to fun pop music, running, taking a nap, buying something for myself, eating junk food (from time to time). Whatever helps your body settle and release the tension and weight of the day, do that for 30 minutes everyday (minimum).  

Looking for steps these?

  • Step Three: Be Open to Growth

  • Step Four: Power Down

  • Step Five: Rest/Recover  

Stay tuned for upcoming posts detailing quick tips and intentions you can use to change your mindset, thoughtfully close out each day, and provide your body with deep rest and recovery.

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