3 STEPS FOR MAINTAINING A HECTIC SCHEDULE
I would say that when it comes to work, the top two questions that I get asked are, “How do you balance your life so effortlessly?” and “How are you so peaceful when your schedule is chaotic?". I know that people have different techniques for living life well, so I thought I would take a moment to share what I have found to work best for me! Here are some practical steps that I have found to help me manage life well and walk in peace in the midst of a hectic schedule.
PREP YOUR WEEK
In order to balance my life, I put in hours of physical and mental preparation. I love Sundays, not only because I get to go to church, but because I get to do weekly life prep! I am going to give a quick overview of what I do after church on Sundays to prep for my week. I am not going to go into detail about the ins and outs of my routine, but I will in my next post. My typical Sunday evening involves the following:
- Meal Plan
- Wardrobe Plan
The reason that I have this Sunday routine is because all of the life prep lessens the potential tension that may encounter later on in the week. For the most part, I stick to this routine. By getting my clothes and food ready on Sundays, it shaves off time in the morning and eliminates the tension of being tired and frantically trying to find clothes and food for the day. I usually can see a difference in my stress level if I choose not to prep on Sundays.
I am going to be honest, choosing to take my Sunday evenings to do this is a sacrifice. I do miss out on social events and such, but I know that in the long run, this will be beneficial for my success throughout the week. If I know that there is a social gathering on a Sunday evening that I want to attend, I will choose to take a few hours of my Saturday to complete my weekly routine! I still get to see friends, but I am still set up for success!
Compartmentalizing has saved my brain from turning into complete mush! In my current season of life, I am balancing a lot of things in my personal and work lives. Just in the past month at work, I have been training new employees, planning and executing a conference, pioneering a new branch of our school, and wrapping up the final details of our previous school year. Not only have I been super swamped doing all of those things at work, but my personal life has also been full: maintaining our home, spending time with my boo, blogging on this site, pioneering and reshaping Cultivate Boldness, and spending time with my friends! All of the different things that I have been doing require a lot of brain effort and energy.
Since my life requires so much effort and energy, I have found that one of the only ways I can keep up is by compartmentalizing. I choose to divide my life into a few main compartments: home, work and social. My relationship with God and my hubby is intertwined throughout all of those compartments. I try to always choose God and my hubby first before venturing into the other compartments. When I say that I divide my life and time into these compartments, that means that I try not to cross pollinate between them. If I am at work, it is time to work. If I am off of work and now at home, I try to only focus on home. It is not always the easiest compartmentalizing, but I found a few tips that have helped me:
- When you are finished working for the week, turn on the 'out of the office' message on your email. This will reinforce your work boundaries and will communicate your schedule to those trying to contact you.
- Set clear working boundaries. Communicate the windows of time when you are willing to be accessible via call or text, hold yourself to not working on your day off, etc.
- Don’t talk about work (easier said than done!)
- Schedule date days
- Schedule times when you can hang out
- Be present when you are hanging out- turn your phone on silence
TAKE TIME FOR YOU
In the midst of craziness, you need to remember that if you are not mentally or physically healthy, you will not be able to keep up! It is important to take time for yourself when you are juggling life! This can look like having scheduled times to do things that bring life to you. I know for me, I am an introvert and by the end of my work week I am exhausted. Since my hubby is on the road most weekends, I tend to have great "introvert days" on Friday and Saturday. This may look like staying in my pajamas, watching movies, reading books, organizing things, or just sitting in silence. I know that those things may not seem appealing if you are extroverted, but we all need to find things that bring us life and revive us. By the end of an “introvert day”, I feel revived and full of energy to keep up with my fast pace of life!
Sometimes my schedule does not allow me to take a full day to rest and focus on me, so I become creative. This may look like me taking a drive into the country during my lunch break, going to Target and walking for a bit, taking a walk around my work campus, or just taking a 5 minute brain break to get caught up on social media. I would encourage you to find what works for you!
Challenge: Take some time to think through your last couple of weeks. Did you feel at peace? Did you feel like you were overwhelmed? Once you have accessed your time, think about how you can implement one of the 3 steps to your life. Remember to start off small by choosing the area that you feel will be most beneficial for you in your pursuit of living a more peaceful life. Document your journey on social media by using the hashtag #faithfultomypurpose.