We all want to get more done in less time. If you look at magazine covers and article headlines, they all promise you ways to do more stuff. At the same time, we all feel the pressure of our to-do lists, our calendars, our phone, our email.
Is it possible that the answer to doing more is to actually reduce our responsibilities? To do less?
Preparing for a journey…
Consider this. You are trying to pack a suitcase for a trip. (You know how hard that is nowadays — 50 pounds in a suitcase, that’s it.) You are packing for a very important trip, so you begin pulling all the stuff you want to take with you on this trip. Every few minutes, you find something else you want to take. Your husband suggests some things you might like to bring along with you. As you start packing you realize that you are going to be overflowing, and even if you could get it latched, you know it is way past the 50 pound mark.
So, what do you do?
Ask yourself these questions:
- What are the objectives or goals for this trip?
- What types of events will I need to be prepared for?
- What personal items do I need to be sure to bring?
- What things are most important to me, regardless of everything else?
Based upon these questions, you would choose the items you would need to pack for your trip and hopefully bring it down below the 50 pound mark.
Reducing Our Load in Life
We have to do the same thing with our lives. Many times we add activities and responsibilities because someone else thinks it might be cool — or it is important to them — without even considering if we really want to. You have to do the same thing for your life as we did for the suitcase in the above story.
Ask yourself these questions:
- What are your main priorities in your life?
- What are your main objectives for this month, this year, this season of life?
- Who are the most important people in my life?
- What things or activities are important to me?
Once you answer these questions, take out your calendar, your email, your to-do list. Compare them to your answers. Is what you are doing lining up with your priorities? If not, you need to start making changes so that they do. Depending on your responsibilities, it may take you some time, but if you begin to clean up your calendar, your email, and your to-do list and do your best to only schedule things that fit within your priorities, it will make things easier.
You will probably still be crazy busy, but you will be doing things that are important to you. You’ll feel more comfortable with your schedule and lifestyle because you’ll be actively choosing your activities and priorities.
Some practical resources for reducing your stress
If you are overwhelmed and struggling to maintain balance in your life, here are several suggestions for you.
- On my other blog, Living the Balanced Life, I wrote a series called The 8 week Journey to Balance. You can find all the posts here.
- If you would like to download them all, along with some additional material and worksheets, you can purchase the e-book format here for only $4.99. (Keep in mind you are helping support this blog when you make purchases here!)
- For practical everyday help, you can start exploring The Stressed Mom by clicking Start Here.