If we want to change any area of our lives – we quite simply have to invest time and energy into it. Therefore, taking charge of our day is THE way we begin to step into authorship of our lives.
Time management is an area that I've been working on since becoming a mom. It wasn't until I needed to balance parenthood with entrepreneurship that I started to get really interested in figuring out how to fit it all in and stay sane at the same time.
I went from stressed-out, short-tempered and burnt-out to feeling on top of my game and in charge of my day. I remember the days (not so long ago) that I worked 7 days a week, squeezing in computer work between taking care of kids, cooking 3 meals a day and teaching classes. I've gone from never having time for myself, to now working a slim but highly productive 25-hour work week to having spontaneous tea dates, taking weekends off to go skiing, afternoons to do indoor bouldering with my kids and now some ice skating and acroyoga. I make sure to carve out empty space in my day to just "be" and enjoy quiet time (mom's need it too!).
This process occurred over several years (probably 5 or 6 if I'm being totally honest). But having walked the path with many twists and turns, lots of backsliding and tons of obstacles, I've created a map to better guide you and hopefully get you there faster than it took me.
The thing is, there are only so many hours in a day. The point isn’t to fill and schedule every minute (which I did until recently), but to enjoy life while we progress and grow. And as it turns out, progress and growth requires space to digest, reflect and dream – which can't happen if we're too busy tending to our to-do list.
Unfortunately we’re in a culture that perpetuates this go-go-go pattern, but space is crucial to being healthy, creative, and present.
In the same way we need to space our meals in order to fully digest our food and extract nutrients and building blocks for our cells, we need empty pockets of time to process and learn from our past experiences. If we don't build in this time, we end up perpetuating old patterns and outdated habits that keep us stuck.
Also, if we don’t press the pause button, burnout is inevitable, and adrenal fatigue and hormone imbalances are a given. When energy is going out more than it’s coming in, we lose connection to joy, to each other, and to ourselves. Then we start to feel frazzled and disconnected and crave things like sugar, caffeine and wine that create deeper and deeper imbalances.
I found that when my day was chock-a-block it was really hard to be present for those around me because I always had a to-do list running in the back of my mind. It was like trying to stop a 80-mile an hour Mack truck to have a conversation – it felt more like a crash in my day than a sweet moment of connection.
Another insight I had was that when I was "too busy" and running around like a mad woman, I was fresh out of creative ideas for my classes. My mom, who is an artist, told me long ago that artists need to be bored in order to create. Turns out – this concept has been studied and proven! Many "Eureka" moments in history occurred when the person was away from work and not actively thinking.
Creating space is essential for balancing the busyness of our lives. We need time to go inward, whether that’s with journaling, having a bath, meditation, or being in nature. When we go inward we access our intuition, tap into our creativity, and great ideas and insights bubble up to the surface.
Over the next 4 weeks I’ll be giving you specific and tangible ways you can start to implement right away to start feeling like you are in control of your time and creating space for the important things in your life.
Step one: eat an earlier dinner and enjoy your evening. If you're currently "catching up" on work at night, checking emails or zoning out on Facebook or Netflix, instead, can you carve out 30 minutes to go inward for some quiet time of doing nothing? Sit on the couch, hang out with the fam jam, journal, have a bath, take a walk, meditate, chill-ax.