Lately my life has been a touch overwhelming…like brain going to explode, mental breakdown type overwhelming. As I watched “This is Us”…in 15 minute increments because that is all my life allows at one time to devote to television, I related to the recent breakdown Randall had. I actually thought, I could feel how he was feeling. I feel the pressure in my head, I completely understand why he just stops being able to handle it, why he just sits down and quits…so overwhelmed and stressed that his body can’t function anymore.
So how do I slow down the chaos? I could quit my job, but I’m not quite to the point where I feel comfortable doing that. There are still plenty of bills to pay. I could force my kids to quit their sports/after school activities. But I LOVE that they do these things. Even though it adds so much stress and driving time to my life, I feel like the benefits they are getting out of it outweigh the stresses added to me. It teaches them discipline, health, strength, mindset…these are things that can’t be replaced. I could quit my business…but that is my passion…that is where my dreams and goals are being built.
Then I listened to an amazing speaker, Craig Holiday, that just spoke directly to my heart. He gave me a game plan for getting my life under control. If your life is out of control, it is because your days are out of control, which is because your hours are out of control. It is time for me to take control.
First, Craig advises writing down your priorities on the left side of a paper. I did just that.
Next, he says for one day, write down everything you do that day…everything! Now look to see if the way you are spending your hours aligns with your priorities. Nope. Not at all.
I am a multitasker. While I am getting the kids ready for school in the morning, I’m also trying to pack lunches, washing the dishes from the night before, watching the dogs going potty outside, throwing on a load of laundry, checking my email and online office. And this is what is going on almost every hour of every day. A combination of tasks and activities going through my head, each attempting to pull my attention and time. A little of each gets done while my head feels like it is spinning and nothing feels complete. It makes me less patient when I’m working on kid activities because I’m also trying to do multiple other things at the same time.
My top priority is faith. Yet, I do my devotional once or twice a week, when I have a little extra time in the bath or after working my business. I know that my quiet devotional time has such a huge influence in how my life goes, so why is it not my priority? My spouse is also a top priority, but he is usually the last to get my attention…if we are lucky we spend a half hour together in the evenings…well on the evenings we see each other.
I began to realize that I spend a ton of time cleaning my house. A clean house is not on my priority list. I enjoy cleaning and love having a clean house, but it is not in my top 5 priorities. Now while I can’t just let the house and laundry go, I realized maybe I could set a limited and specific time for the cleaning instead of trying to do it all day while multitasking with a million other things.
I enjoy coaching gymnastics and love being part of the coaching team…yet that is not in my top priorities. A good reminder from Craig is that in order to feel in control of your life, you are going to have to give things up. Though I like coaching, building my business to help people and reach my big goals is a priority that I need time to devote to. Knowing the time I put in this business has the potential in the future to hit my other priority of being debt free and allow more time with my spouse and children (also priorities) means having to give up some non-priorities for now, even if I enjoy them. This isn’t an easy thing for me to do. I never want to miss out on anything. I am one of those people that wants to participate in everything!
So how does Craig recommend we start focusing on our priorities and take control? A simple hand-written calendar/schedule. Grab the colored pencils folks. As much as I am totally against scheduling out my day (because I like to try to use every extra second to get things done, and try to get 3 things done at once), I know I need to give this a try. How amazing would it be to have a written time where I am only focused on my business. How much better would it be during my “kid” time to not be checking my messages and attempting to clean while helping with homework and getting ready.
Though work isn’t a priority, for now it is a necessity, so I put that down first. Then I put down my “kid” activities, trying to pencil in some time for getting ready..all the drive time I do…homework..and some play time. I color code my cleaning and cooking time. I add a half hour for cleaning at the end of each day so my mornings don’t seem so cluttered and I’m not trying to do dishes while yelling at the kids to get dressed and pack their bags. I devote specific time to my devotional and business.
Now, I am a realist. Having 4 children, one the age of 3, is going to mean my schedule isn’t always kept perfect. I will get interrupted during my cleaning and business times to wipe snotty noses and get snacks every 10 minutes (seriously…these kids eat non stop). However, I’m hoping this will help give my mind more focus instead of trying to do everything at once and feeling overwhelmed. I am going to block out time just for the hubby..phone put away..to catch up on our zombie show, or just chat.
I’m excited about this new organization. I think this could be the answer I was looking for to lower the stress levels, the feelings of being out of control, and really put the focus on my priorities. Now the next step is to stick with it!!