Are you really too busy to read this?
Does any of the following sound familiar? Things at work are more hectic than ever. Family obligations are keeping you busy almost every day. You never seem to have time to spend with your friends. Your weekends are always tied up trying to do the errands that you didn’t have time for during the week.
If any of the above sounds like your life then join the club. So many people that I talk to these days are overwhelmed with the pace of their lives. They feel that there is so much to do that they never have any “me time”. They say that they want to slow down life so they can enjoy it more. Many people feel that they are doing too much and need to cut down on their activities so they can have some fun. The problem is that they don’t know what to cut out. To me the answer is not always to slow the pace by cutting anything out of my daily routine, but sometimes to appreciate what I am doing when I am doing it and realize something that a wise life coach once taught me.
Several years ago life was overwhelming me. Between work, family, financial issues, and personal obligations I felt that I had no control over my time. I wanted to relax more and be in control of how I spent my days. The life coach sat me down and had me prepare a list of how I spent my time during a normal week. Then he had me make a pie chart so I could graphically see what percentage of my week was spent doing what. Next he asked me what I wanted to cut out. After we went over each item and I justified to him why each one was important I was more frustrated than ever. It seemed like I would always be stuck doing the things I needed to do and not have time for the things that I wanted to do. In short, I would never get to enjoy that elusive “me time”.
Then he told me that actually everything on my list was “me time”. I gave him a puzzled look. He pointed out that I was already choosing how to spend my time. I was setting the priority to every task and activity that I did, whether it was a fun activity or an obligation that I felt was being imposed on me by someone else. Slowly I realized what he was saying. I was in control of ALL of my time, even the time spent doing things that I felt I had to do. Since that day I can honestly say that I am less stressed. I enjoy each day more because I know that I have the power to choose how much time I spend with each activity. I no longer feel that other people are in control of my time.
Realize that you are already in control of your life and your schedule. Don’t be afraid to back off a little from the tasks that are stressing you. Understand that there are limits to what you can do in a given day and it is OK to not get everything done at once. When you are doing something that you feel pressured to do then ask yourself how it fits into the scheme of what is on your schedule at that point in time. Once you set your own priorities to the tasks of the day then I think you will feel more in control, and understand that what you are doing in any given moment is truly your decision.