Finding Balance in a Busy Schedule
Lately, people have been commenting on how busy I am and how they can’t understand how I manage to keep it all together, get everything done and still find time for family and friends.
I’m working a full-time job; Running my life coaching business and booking clients; Teaching yoga 4 nights a week; And volunteering my time as needed. All while keeping time for family and friends and down-time for myself to avoid burn-out.
What’s the secret?
Generally speaking, I do better when I’m busy. I think my natural state is lazy...like sloth slow! I work much better under pressure. If I have too much time, I’ll procrastinate until I’m panicked to meet the deadline.
I tend to book my time fairly solid. Balancing between, what I’m required to do (like work a day job) and what I like to do (like being a life coach and teaching yoga).
That’s really the key for me. I need to have balance. I can’t just work the “to-do” list until I’m exhausted. There must be an equal number of things that fill me up with joy.
What I’ve learned over the years is that time is your most valuable resource. You can’t ever gain more time, or get back time lost. I’ve learned to use my time wisely to benefit my ultimate goals and hopefully serve others in the process. Everything in life takes up space, whether it be mental space, physical space or calendar space. Everything you do, everything you own, everyone you spend time with costs you something. It’s important to protect your time so that you don’t burn out.
I think it’s important to know how to say no when needed so that you don’t overwhelm, or over-commit yourself. But sometimes, the opportunities are too good to pass up. That’s when it pays to be a little organized!
Being super busy might stress some people out. In fact, when friends commented to me that they don’t know how I do it all and not wear myself out I realized that being busy isn’t for everyone and that’s perfectly fine! Personally, when I’m enjoying what I’m doing, being busy isn’t an issue.
But...let’s not kid ourselves here...you need to be organized to manage a busy schedule and not burn out.
With that in mind, I thought I’d share a few methods that I use. First and foremost, self-care is very important. If I don’t take care of myself, I don’t have anything left to give to other people or projects. Sometimes that means I actually schedule time to rest on my calendar! Sometimes it means I give myself grace if I decide I need a nap more than I need to start a new project.
Being a type “A” perfectionist, this was the hardest thing for me to embrace. But, it’s truly the most important lesson that I’ve learned. Sometimes, it’s okay if I didn’t get the bathrooms cleaned because I wanted to spend time with family or friends. Living life and enjoying life is way more important that having a “perfect” house! (Don’t tell my Mom!)
Having a regular meditation practice and finding time for a regular workout, whether that be a walk outside, or a yoga class is very important to maintaining sanity when your busy. Your health, both mental and physical, should be your top priority always.
For me, the key to a busy schedule is being able to prioritize. Once I determine what’s most important, I can schedule time accordingly. Sometimes, you need to learn to say no to keep your time for yourself sacred.
I live by lists and a good planner! I plan a week in advance so that I can look at my list first thing Monday morning and plan my week. Of course, my list is always a “living document.” Meaning that it can change. It’s got to be okay to disregard something on the list, or move it to a later date without mentally chastising yourself!
Secondly, I love a good planner. Sure…I try to keep an active calendar on my phone or iPad. But for me, writing something down makes it real. I prefer a planner that, not only keeps your schedule, but also challenges you to plan goals for your future as well. My personal favorite, after trying a few different options, is the Passion Planner. I use the smaller size so it fits in my purse and I can take it everywhere with me.
A planner helps to keep me from double booking myself. (Ask me how I know! It only took a few times of double booking and panicking to convince me I can’t keep it all in my head!). At the end of a week or month, I can look back and determine if I spent my time wisely or if improvements could be made.
Because I like to cook (and we prefer to eat healthy in our house), I plan out recipes a week ahead of time. This allows me to grocery shop and be sure I have everything I need. I teach Yoga Monday-Thursday after working my full-time job. So... I try to cook meals in advance. Sundays end up being a day to cook a few meals to keep us fed until mid-week or longer.
Advanced planning, as often as possible, will give you more time in your schedule to keep you from running ragged, but rather gracefully gliding through your schedule!
Creating a routine is important to keep me on track and not feeling frazzled or overwhelmed.
It doesn’t hurt that I have a very supportive husband who helps keep the house clean and does all the yard work and even occasionally cooks. A strong support system makes it all possible for me!
When you enjoy what you’re doing, it’s not a burden to be busy. Whether it be working full-time, teaching yoga, working with my coaching clients or volunteering, I’m happy for the opportunity to do those things. I don’t feel like I HAVE to do these things, I’m excited that I get the opportunity to do these things.
Mindset is important to avoid burn-out. When you find joy in all the things you do, you’re excited to keep going! When you’re doing things that you love to do and serving others, it’s hard to feel like your schedule is too busy. Most weeks, I’m happy, energized and excited to see what’s next.
For now, my crazy schedule is lots of fun and helping me to engage with lots of people. But sometimes…. a good nap with kitties piled on top of me is just what I need. It’s all about balance!
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