Don’t shoot the messenger but fall is fast approaching. And generally, with fall comes an increase in our to-do lists. Maybe the kids are going back to school, maybe we take on new work projects or maybe we are the ones going back to school. In a society and culture that gives imaginary prizes for who can be the busiest, how do we find balance?
The first thing to realize is that you are in fact in control of your time and you have every right to say no to things. When was the last time that you said no to someone just to stay at home and read a book or get some errands done in an adequate timeframe instead of rushing around like a chicken with your head cut off? We hesitate to say no because often we want to be liked or we don’t want to offend. However, your true friends know what it feels like to be run down at times and also understand that saying no to an outing does not mean you are saying no to the relationship.
There are some things you can do to start to re-define balance in your life. First, write down hour by hour for 2 full weeks what you are doing with your time. This is called a time log. This allows you to see where you do have time and how much time you might we wasting on things that you don’t deem actually important, like scrolling the web for instance. It shows your patterns and helps you to be mindful of what you are doing.
Next, make a list of what you value. You can always check out lists of core values on the web and use that as a tool to get started. This will help you see what your priorities actually are and when you compare that to your time log you will be able to see what things that you can cut out based on your values.
Lastly, identify the things that fill your energy bucket up. If you get your energy from being around people, intentionally plan some outings. If you get your energy from spending time alone, book some alone time in. Think about what you need to recharge your batteries and decide to do that thing consistently. Treat it as you would an appointment.
Remember, you are the only one who can control your schedule. You are the one who needs to make the changes if you want balance in your life. The truth is that there is no badge of honor for busyness, so what are you going to live for instead?