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“Once she stopped rushing through life, she was amazed how much more life she had time for.” – unknown
If you haven’t caught on to it yet, one of my biggest beliefs is that we all need to slow down a bit. Our lives are filled with so many things to do, so many distractions, so many responsibilities. It can feel like we are racing time trying to get everything done, simply surviving one day to the next. I truly believe this is one cause of our societies chronic discontentment. The phrase, “There’s just not enough hours in the day,” is all too commonly spoken.
The struggle between pursuing new goals and desiring more down-time for myself has been real lately. Like many of you may feel, I have a desire to grow and pursue new goals, but also want a life full of peace and joy. I often find myself rushing-rushing-rushing to get my to-do’s done so I can have time to relax, but before I know it the day has come and gone and it’s time for bed! So how can we end this race against time? How can we shift our perspective and habits so that we do have more time to slow down and engage in the things that bring us joy?
We cannot get everything done in one day.
Often we have these lofty goals and ambitions of things we are going to accomplish in a day. We make our to-do list, estimate a time we think it will be completed, and get to work. Usually, we over-estimate how much we can get done. We are frustrated and feel like failures for not being productive enough. We fail to realize how much we are setting ourselves up for failure by expecting ourselves to be super women.
I do think it’s important and helpful to make a to-do list for keeping ourselves on task and remembering things that must be done. What I have found helpful is to list the top 3 things that must get done that day. Under these I write additional things that could get done if I have time. I focus on the first 3, do some of the others if there’s time, and try not to add much more. I allow myself to stop when I’m done, and enjoy the remaining time left in my day. That way I still have a strong sense of accomplishment, prevent that feeling of frustration that comes with falling short of my goals, and allow myself time to sit back and enjoy my well-deserved R&R (aaahhhh)! Now, in all honesty I don’t follow my own advice every time, but I try!
This planner is from Heart Of The Farm planners. I received it as a gift for Christmas last year and LOVE it! Can’t wait to get another one for next year! Check them out here: https://www.heartofthefarmplanner.com
Write down what you did accomplish.
Sometimes I like to write a reverse to-do list. Rather than writing down things I need to get done, I will write down tasks I have completed as I do them. This helps me realize how much I am actually getting accomplished, and increases that sense of accomplishment from having a productive day. Below are some beautifully made journals from Peter Pauper Press. I have the blue one on the left and love it! I use these for regular journaling and to make to-do’s. Beautiful design with metallic details, and excellent quality overall.
This also helps me realize where I might be wasting time. I may have 3 things on my to-do list, but by writing down what I’m actually doing I realize I’m spending time on things that aren’t as pertinent for that day. It helps me refocus my attention on what does need to be done, wasting less time overall.
Schedule down-time for yourself.
If you are the type of person who operates very diligently off of a schedule, you may find that penciling in some down-time for yourself is helpful. Setting a designated time for yourself to engage in something that brings you joy will help ensure you make that time for yourself. If we write something down we are much more likely to do it.
It’s also a good way to defer other distracting tasks. You can simply tell someone, “Sorry, but I’ve got something going on at that time.” Because you do! And that time may be the most important and necessary part of your day because it helps you disconnect and refresh, preventing the dreaded burn-out.
Time is a blessing. Cherish it rather than fight it.
Time is fleeting. We cannot get it back. We cannot literally make more of it. All we can do is make the most of the time we are given. Whatever we are spending our time on it needs to be something that enhances our lives in some way. Whether it means time with family, prayer, pursuing hobbies you enjoy, or advancing in your career it has got to add something of value to our lives. Yes, there are things we must do to function in our lives such as get groceries, do laundry, and vacuum the carpet. The remaining part of our time should be spent thoughtfully. By appreciating the small everyday tasks that we must perform, we can stop the race against time.
If you find yourself racing the clock to get things done, particularly on your days off, remind yourself to just breath. Remember that you don’t have to do everything in one day. Write down the things you have done for a better sense of accomplishment and to keep yourself on-task. Schedule down-time if necessary.
Lastly, think about the reasons you feel rushed. Is it that you simply have too much to do? Are you a perfectionist thinking you must get things done that aren’t really necessary? Do you simply need some extra help with certain things? Whatever the reason, try to come up with a way to make things easier on yourself. Whether it be letting go of perfectionism or delegating tasks to others, try to find a way to lighten your own load. Let’s begin to cherish the time we are given each day rather than trying to beat it.