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How to Stay Sane with a Busy Schedule

Posted Jan 28 2013 5:22pm

Hi friends! Hope your Monday’s off to a great start. :)

Mine started in the best of possible ways ~ with a leisurely breakfast, cup of coffee and a nice, long run.

For me, there’s nothing better than a good run to get my mind sorted out and geared up for the day’s accomplishments and this morning’s run did just that. I mentioned in yesterday’s post that I’m working toward some {hopefully} big life changes (I’ll divulge more details down the road). After putting pen to paper yesterday I think I’ve got a pretty good game plan lined out. I’m a planner by nature so, before making any sort of transition, it always makes me feel better to have a solid strategy in mind. That being said, just like any endeavor worth striving toward, it looks like I’m going to have my work cut out for me over the next few months.

Since I’m essentially going to be putting in double time working, blogging and actively moving toward some personal goals, I realize the potential to become overwhelmed or burnt out is high. To help me stay in the best possible frame of mind, I’m going to lean on some tips I’ve learned for keeping stress at bay when faced with a rather hectic calendar.

How to Stay Sane with a Busy Schedule:

Schedule time for certain tasks. I don’t know if you’re anything like me, but I have a tendency to worry and mull over things that are set to occur way in the future. I’ll take a small task that I dread (such as managing my monthly budget) and put it on my list of things to do. Then I’ll spend day after day not getting around to it, yet still it sits there, feeling like a heavy load that I have to carry around all week. However, if I allot a specific day and even time to sit and work on my budget (and don’t allow myself to worry or even think about it until then), not only is it usually much less stressful or time consuming than I’ve imagined it will be, but it frees up my mind to focus on other things throughout the week.

Separate the must-do’s from the would-be-nice-to-do’s. I’m the type of person who likes to get a lot done and I often have my hand in multiple projects at a time. On any given day, I’ll generally have a fairly good laundry list of things I hope to accomplish. On days when my schedule is packed to the brim, I’ve come to realize that, instead of causing myself undue stress over all of the things I feel like I *need* to do, it’s ok to focus on the most pertinent items and let the others fall temporarily by the wayside. Example: the mortgage bill due tomorrow needs to be paid, organizing the guest room can wait.

Redefine your priorities. Remember, at the end of the day, you’re only one person with a limited amount of time. When that time is precious it’s ok to be a little choosy with how you spend it. Personally, I know that in the past I’ve had a tendency to overextend myself socially which only leaves me feeling stressed about not having enough *me time* or time for all the other things I want to accomplish. I know that if I want to reach my goals, I’m going to have to hunker down and put my social life on hold, at least for a little while.

Treat yourself extra well. When we’re busy and time is scarce it can be easy to let healthier habits fall by the wayside. When I want to feel and perform at my best I know it’s necessary to eat well, get enough sleep and exercise – this is especially important during times of stress.

Make time to relax. This is probably the single most important piece of advice I’d give to anyone juggling multiple projects at a time. As mentioned, I’m a bit of a go-getter and I’m definitely guilty of pushing myself well beyond my max at times. It’s a hard pill to swallow for someone who likes to accomplish a lot but I’m starting to embrace the importance of simply taking time to do nothing. We all need time to decompress, especially when life is stressful. Nowadays, I try to schedule at least a couple nights during the week and one day over the weekend to just do nothing. Sure, on my relaxation days I’ll perform a few quick chores if necessary – load the washer, clean a few dishes etc., but I stipulate no heroics. ;)

Know when enough is enough. I’m a morning person by nature and am at my most productive in the early hours but every now and then you’ll catch me making a valiant attempt to moonlight as a night owl. The scenario looks something like this: I’m bent over my computer at the kitchen table, struggling to put together a coherent blog post or complete some other task, my eyelids dragging from the weight a long, busy day. These days, I’ve learned that when my body starts to shut down, it’s time do just that.

Lastly, remember: It’s only temporary. Hopefully, whatever you’re going through that’s causing you extra stress – moving, starting a new job, working towards some life goals – is just a temporary situation. It may not seem like it now, but it’s important to remember that things will eventually be back to normal. :)

Kristi

Question: How do you manage stress when life hands you a busier than usual schedule?

 

Consistency is Key
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