Time is the great equalizer. Everybody gets the same amount: 24 hours in a day, 60 minutes in an hour. We can’t save time or accumulate or rearrange it. We can’t turn it off or on. It can’t be replaced.
But these days, it seems as if the lament of not having enough time has become a national anthem. Everywhere people find themselves constantly in a rush, over-booked and over-scheduled with no time off. Life is accompanied by the ongoing stress of not enough time. And sometimes doing too much and being too busy can be a way of numbing feelings or disguising depression or anger.
Though it may not always seem so, how we fill our time and how we spend it is our choice. Answer the following questions to discover if you’re caught up in the “too-busy” cycle.
I constantly find myself doing “urgent” things and trying to catch up.
- I allow myself to drift into obligations when I don’t know how much time or energy they’ll require.
- I find myself running from when I get up in the morning until I go to bed at night. I’m always tired and never feel like I accomplished enough.
- I seldom schedule a day off for myself and when I do, I tend to fill it with activities.
- I don’t make time for “self-care” activities: physical exercise, nurturing or “pampering” myself, cultural stimulation, spiritual well-being, learning something new, playing, or simply doing nothing.
- I seldom have time to do the things I really love.
- My work and project areas are cluttered with “I’ll look at this later” stacks and “to-do” piles.
- I often miscalculate how long certain activities will take.
- I often miss deadlines or work long hours to meet a deadline.
- I respond to interruptions such as phone calls, faxes, email, beepers and pagers, and allow them to take me off track.
- I try to keep things in my head rather than making lists. If I do make a daily “to-do” list, it’s impossible to complete in a day.
- I tend to move from one urgent thing to the next, rather than working toward specific goals and objectives.
- I find myself constantly wishing I had more time or projecting an imaginary future when I have more time, making comments such as “as soon as…” or “next year…”
- I spend time running errands and rushing because I didn’t plan well enough.
- I spend time doing things I could pay someone else to do.
- I often do things because I “should,” or continue to do things that no longer fit who I am.
- Other people complain that my schedule doesn’t allow enough time for them.
So now, take a breath and then another one. Just going through that list can cause anxiety yet that’s not what it’s meant for. The intention is to bring awareness to the crazy busy that we get ourselves in and usually without being aware of it. Our calendars and other people’s needs can run our lives.
Now that there is some awareness of one area or several, take some time and add yourself to your calendar. Yep. Right now. Not just exercise time. Some YOU time of writing, journaling, dreaming, planning something that you want to do. Even if it is only 20 minutes.
Next, make that time non-negotiable. You are important. Yes, we have families and clients and obligations but what if you were super sick and could not meet those obligations? Put the oxygen mask on yourself first.
Just a reminder that we all need including myself as we approach the holidays.
Here’s to some YOU time and a more relaxed day, week, month.
The author of “Forgive Yourself”, Brenda Reiss truly walks her talk. She discovered the power of self-forgiveness when a series of life events put her in a very dark place. Failed marriages, abuse, and severe health issues were just a few of the challenges she faced.
Determined to rewrite her story, Brenda sought answers – and found them in the concept of “radical forgiveness”.
What she learned changed her life forever.
Brenda is highly skilled at helping people find peace in their personal and professional lives. Coupling teachable techniques with forgiveness theory, this certified Radical Forgiveness© Master coach creates an environment which allows clients to release anger, shame, and guilt. The result? An opportunity to live with joy in the present and the future.
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