Wake up to an alarm, get ready for work, get the kids off the school, go to work, rush through lunch because you’re so busy, drive home and feel like ordering a venti latte, pick up the kids, make dinner, clean up, pack lunch for tomorrow, go to bed so you can do it all over again in less than 8 hours!
Why are we all so damn busy? It just can’t be good for us. All the time crunch stuff is enough to raise your heart rate on a regular basis. And when we crash, we reach for sweets and caffeine. Something has got to give.
While I briefly considered moving to Alaska and cramming my family into one of those tiny houses, I knew that wasn’t really the answer. Back to the drawing board!
So in an effort to cope with insane schedules and demands, I came up with a few ideas you can try to cram into your day…
Say NO to anything that’s not central to your mission in life. Especially if you don’t enjoy it! What do I mean by “mission”? What do you love to do, have some talent for, and feels meaningful? That’s what I’m talking about. If you don’t know what your mission is, then take some time and think about it! Another way to look at this is to prioritize what is most important, and put it at the top of your “to-do” list.
Hopefully you were able to give up a few things that took up your time, yet meant very little to you. So now you’ve got another 15 minutes, right?
Each day try to add in something good…a ten minute walk; a few minutes of reading your favorite book or magazine; a conversation with a friend; write down some things you are grateful for; start planning your next vacation. Be creative, and enjoy some of the small but good stuff that happens everyday.
I know you feel like you can’t just up and walk out of the office or away from your students, but somewhere in the day, you will have a chance for a mini escape. Keep your eyes open and grab it when it comes by.
My personal escape hatch at work is to step out of the office and walk for a few minutes by myself. It works especially well if there are some trees or other nature stuff around. (Nature stuff? Boy do I need some sleep!) It gives me a break from the computer and my boss and lets my mind relax a little.
On the way home from work, I like to listen to music I can sing along with. I also like to stop for a snack or something before picking up my kids. When you are used to hauling small children around, the 5 minutes in Starbucks alone feels like heaven!
I also have a new idea that I’m going to test out in the next few weeks. Looking at nature is supposed to be relaxing. What about looking at things you find beautiful? I was thinking I’d splurge on a really beautiful coffee table book, and spend 5 or 10 minutes just soaking up the imagery when I’m feeling fried. I think it’ll work, and I’ll be sure to let you know.
As always, I welcome your feedback and ideas. What little tricks do you use to center yourself on crazy days?