Thursday, April 4, 2013

Busy Life? 5 Steps to Bring Back the Calm!

Feeling Overwhelmed?

Some days I feel like I am a drowning shipwreck...

No kidding, life sometimes has a way of taking us all in and pushing us under the water with more tasks than any sane person could possible tackle in one day.  Admittedly I have been known to feel like this a lot.  When I do, it is usually because I haven't planned well or set my priorities as to what is most important and I am trying to be all to everyone.  Sometimes it is just LIFE that can place a twist on a perfectly planned day.  If I have learned one thing in my many years as a busy Military Spouse, that prioritizing is a must, but flexibility is important too.  Once I realize that I can't do it all, I can get SO much more accomplished.  (This is ESPECIALLY true during deployment....but can happen at any time!)

I don't know about you guys, but I typically keep a mental list of everything in a day that I need "to-do", but when I don't have that list prioritized, I find myself like...

the dog in Disney movie UP...."Squirrel"?  
Drawing by LiteralBox.  
And off I go onto a new tangent!  So how do we fix this?  Here are a few tips that work for me...

  1. ORGANIZE YOUR TO-DO LIST! - Whether you are a list maker or a not, it is good to know what's most important in the "to-do" area for every day.  Some days it is difficult to decide what is most important, but when you are realistic about what needs to get done and what can wait, you give yourself the freedom to know when you can make it all happen and when you can't.
  2. BE HONEST - With yourself and others.  Don't over task yourself.  Know what is realistic and what isn't.  Some days it is OK to let those dishes wait until late in the day or like in my house some days the dog hair just remains on the floor for one extra day.  (I have two large Golden Retrievers and daily vacuuming is a must!  But doesn't ALWAYS get done, shhhh don't tell anyone!)
  3. FEELING OVERWHELMED?  BREAK IT DOWN - I know for me that when I have a large task in front of me, I don't even want to start it.  I do better if I break it down into very small doable tasks.  For a busy work from home mom....I try and get my house cleaning in throughout the day by saying, I am going to just do dishes at the top of the hour and then get back to work.  Or I will vacuum at 2pm....etc.  I find I am motivated to do small tasks quicker and better in bursts of energy.  But I actually plan for it, and sometimes even set my own personal alarms to remind myself.
  4. DELEGATE - Anything you can delegate out when life is overwhelming is better for everyone.  I am a firm believer in the power of the children all have chores to do, no matter how capable or not they are.  Also my husband and I share lots of household responsibilities.  And to make that happen it came from me just ASKING!!!  Beyond the family, whether it is at your job,  your business, or just in your volunteer world, know what is important to do yourself and what you can let others do for you!  
  5. BE REALISTIC - As I spoke of earlier, it is being realistically honest to yourself to allow yourself time to get things done.  Know when you need a break, but also know when you need to motivate yourself.  Being realistic to know when you need to get it in gear and when you can take a deep breathe helps your own frame of mind.  Keeping us refreshed and ready to DO!!!  
As I probably have shared before, I don't always do it all well....but I definitely always strive to do it better.  I would LOVE a completely organized home & life....but sometimes life happens.  I know for me, sometimes experiences out rank my to-do list.  For example, a teachable moment with a one you will never get back.  Taking that moment to help your husband with something he needs to do, will mean more in the long run than your to-do list.  Being able to be there for a friend in need makes a forever connection that your to-do list never will.  So being able to honestly, realistically prioritize all the things in your life and knowing when to break tasks into smaller jobs, and when to delegate are all key factors of staying ahead of your everyday busy life.  

If nothing else, I hope I have inspired you to look at BUSY with a different perspective.  And to make the most of your everyday life.


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