So for starters, let’s not have six different social media accounts we’re posting to every day maybe?
But not all of us are filling our lives with frivolous things. Sometimes we’re in a season where we really have to hustle.
Take me and my husband, for example. We’ve got two kids, who we love dearly. He works fulltime (which includes long hours and travel), does school part-time, pays the bills, takes care of the yard (not my thing) and fixes anything that breaks (also not my thing). And then there’s me. I’m currently up before the rest of the family because I work part-time (though it feels like full time), teach fitness classes, build up my business every chance I get, and still try to keep this house clean, meals ready, laundry done, see friends and family, and be a stay-at-home mom to my little ones. While I’m not nearly as busy as some…
I’m not the poster girl for simplicity.
But I’m not trying to be. I’m here because I know a lot of you are in similar, and even heavier, situations, and there’s not really a lot you can quit right now. In fact, there are things you’d like to add (“Exercise?” You say, “I’ve heard of it…I’d love to try it one day”), but there’s no more margin in your schedule.
So I have no quick fix, but I do have a few elements you can start incorporating right now that will help you in the long run.
How to Stop Running Ragged
Quit something. Anything. You can’t say yes to everything in your life. I know you wish you could, but for this season in your life you’ll have to let something go. And pick the thing that’s not necessary, because I know there has to be something you’re holding onto right now out of guilt or obligation. It’s probably not your sweet spot, and there’s someone else out there who can fit the role better. This may be a volunteer position or a chore or a class that heavies your load too much or a second job you took on for some fun money. Maybe it’s tiny, like cleaning your grout once a month instead of twice, but start somewhere.
Plan. You. Have. To. Plan. Don’t be scared of it. Go out and buy a planner if you need one (*coughs and clears throat* I have a new edition coming out in the fall, for example), but sit down every week and spend, I don’t know, 20 minutes looking over your week. Schedule out what has to be done and see when you can fit in what you’d like to get done. Is your caveat that the plan you spent working on will change? Suurreee. Of course it will. Because life. But I don’t plan and create a to-do list because I expect everything will get done. Even when I don’t complete anything on my to-do list, it’s okay because I know other things in like happened and I get to reevaluate my next week. I don’t live for my to-do list. My to-do list works for me.
Multi-task. Before you misunderstand me, yes I fully believe there is no such thing as multi-tasking your tasks, but that doesn’t mean you can’t accomplish two purposes at once. For example: I teach Body Pump twice a week. Not only do I get to minister to people and pour into the community, I’m also meeting new people and getting in my own workout. I’ve also developed a system where I don’t have to spend copious hours preparing for the workout, so this totally works for me. You could grab a friend and go running while also enjoying some togetherness, or you could involve your kids in cleaning. It will take wayyy longer, but you’re also teaching them important life skills along the way.
Stop trying to keep up with your Instagram. Sure it looks like everyone is doing a lot of fun things, and it’s true that there’s only so much of your feet that everyone wants to see, but you don’t need to mold your life around the idea that you have to do all the things your Insta friends do.
Put margin in your schedule. This is my challenge to you. While you’re planning, instead of trying to fill up every hour with activities, schedule a couple hours where you do nothing. If you have a family, include them on this, too. Throw away the chores, say no to any offers that come up during that time, and just be with the people who matter. This can include self-care, too. Which, by the way, way important.
If you have kids, give them boundaries, too. They really don’t have to be in three different organized activities at once. Not only does it make your life crazy, there are studies on why it isn’t beneficial for them (like here ). If you can, limit their involvement and you may find yourself with an extra breath to breathe.