I will never catch up.
Some of my friends will never understand that. They can’t fathom a life of to-dos and deadlines and commitments and unexpected obligations that pack the hours of 6 a.m. to midnight and sometimes beyond.
When does soccer end? they’ll ask.
They might not understand that after a work shift that starts before business hours and after a day truncated by travel and training schedules that sometimes I look at my phone and can’t even imagine trying to tap out anything cohesive on that tiny keyboard.
Today’s guest blogger knows something about this sort of life.
Kathy writes the wonderful blog The Second Half of My Life. Every day for a year, starting on her 49th birthday, she tried something new. Very cool concept. Today, she’s here to share tips on how to handle la vida busy-as-hell.
Please give her a warm CD welcome!
Too Many Projects And Not Enough Time
I try to manage my time so I don’t get overwhelmed, but sometimes (despite my best efforts) things go haywire and my work, volunteer, and social commitments collide in a perfect storm of busyness.
Recently I accepted a leadership position in a fellowship I belong to. Before we even had our first meeting, one of the other officers had to resign for health reasons. Someone else eventually stepped up, but there was a lot of back and forth emails before the new person settled into the job. Five weeks later the organization had an event, and the chairperson wasn’t able to be there. They did a good job of arranging for sub-chairs, but in the end, I had to quarterback several last minute details.
And, to top it off, the week before the event the treasurer figured out she couldn’t attend either, so she handed the checkbook over to me so I could write any needed checks.
While all this was unfolding, on the work front I had a series of challenging, time consuming, writing intensive jobs. And, because I’m self-employed, I had to keep on top of scheduling more work if I wanted money in my checkbook.
At home, whenever I did something my mind was thinking of the next four other things to do. I felt like I was on a hamster wheel. I was so busy I had to have visual reminders of each thing that had to be done.
Eventually, the reminders took over most of the flat surfaces in the kitchen…but then the clutter started to nag at me, leading to more stress.
Thankfully, things have settled down. In reflecting on the whole experience, I realized I’d learned some valuable lessons.
(OK, some of them I’ve learned for the second or third time. Don’t judge.)
• Just because I can do three things at a time doesn’t mean I should. None of them will get done well.
• It’s OK to delete some emails without reading them.
• Prioritizing your projects is a good idea, and you might even figure out that some of them don’t need to be done.
• As tempting as it might be when your mind is paralyzed and you can’t make any more decisions, playing computer games only makes things worse.
• However, five minutes looking at Facebook Friend updates or reading cached blog posts can be a nice break. Especially if you can do it on a tablet or cell phone away from Project Central.
• Getting exercise is always a good thing.
• It’s a good idea to set specific times when you can walk away from all the busyness. For me, that turns out to be in the morning (no emails before breakfast and the morning paper) and after 7 p.m. I can’t always stick to those times, but I try to make it a goal.
• And, make sure you leave time to relax. At the end of each big project, I try to schedule a day to do nothing. If I don’t my body will rebel.
What about you? How do you offset the busy life?
The rest of the A to Z to this point:
A is for Addiction to Devices
C is for Interview with a Cat
D is for Do What I Do and Eat What I Eat
E is for Eight Things I’ve Left Behind
F is for Foods That Bring Me Comfort
H is for Halfway There
I is for Ice Cream
J is for Justification for the Blog Life
K is for 7 Women I’d Sing Karaoke With
M is for Men I Forgot to Be
N is for the New Plan