10 Tips For Keeping Your Life Together During A Busy Season
2020 is already here in full swing. In a world where being busy is over-glorified, it’s important to check-in and make sure you are ACTUALLY doing things that are helping to move you forward in your goals.
There are plenty of articles about how to create new systems and routines. This will not be another one. I’m a gal that’s all about a great morning and evening routine, but during the hectic and busy seasons of life, it’s not always realistic. I notice when things get insanely busy, it’s when people fall off their habits and routines.
So, in a world that is moving faster than we can grasp, how do we keep it together?
1. Center yourself
The truth is sometimes you can’t move mountains. You can, however, take a few minutes to breathe, meditate, and just align yourself back to your goals. I know what you are thinking. You are too busy, too tired, or too…something. Take less than five minutes and turn on some meditation music and just let yourself sit still. Sometimes, just taking a deep breath and a break from the craziness, we begin to feel connected. Try apps like Headspace or Calm. I just turn on yoga music from my Spotify playlist.
2. Shout your purpose from the top of your lungs
This is a silly one but a necessary one. During the long and tough days, however temporary they may be, remind yourself what you are doing and WHY. This usually helps me feel a little more motivated in the moment to continue to do what I’m doing. Whatever fills your soul with fire, write it down, sing it, and share it with a friend.
3. Ask yourself what’s important
You know your crazy schedule and what’s expected of you. You know maybe a night out isn’t the best idea when you have work due or a workout you have been putting off. Ultimately, pick what’s most important. I’d have to cancel on girlfriends before because I knew I needed a night-in to catch up with my life obligations. It doesn’t make you a terrible person for knowing what will move you forward. Just be honest with yourself and stop being a people-pleaser. Make decisions from your gut. If you know you can’t go to that thing, then don’t. Don’t make excuses, just honor your priorities. Don’t be afraid to say no.
4. Streamline your home-tasks
If you normally spend an extravagant time meal-prepping but have fallen off the wagon, pick easier meals. Try services like Hello Fresh to get meals made and delivered to you. If running errands is eating into the time you could be working or catching up on something important, consider using Amazon Prime.
Delegate tasks to other members of the family if possible. Fill them in on your crazy schedule and see how they can pitch in. If you live alone, be gentle with yourself. Set a timer for 10 minutes and see how much you can get done.
5. Schedule your priorities first and treat them like appointments
I know when my time is stretched super thin, getting my workouts in is critical. Working out contributes to my overall mental sanity, so whenever I skip too many days I feel out of sync. When planning my schedule, I always put my non-negotiables first. When you put the things most important to you on your calendar first, you are likely to do them. What are your non-negotiables right now that you know you need to schedule?
6. Be realistic and create padding in your time
I feel like this one is the easiest to follow. Be honest with yourself. Honor the fact you are a human being and you can’t operate at 100% non-stop. I know with myself in the past, I would jump from one thing to another, to another, and so on.
I found during busy seasons, what works best is to create padding in your schedule. Maybe it’s half an hour between your work and the time you get home to work on your side hustle. That 30 minutes will allow you to breathe and not feel overwhelmed if something pops up you need to take care of.
7. Get plenty of sleep
So important! You are not operating at your best when you are cutting back on sleep. There is so much research available on how important and critical sleep is. Adjust your schedule to get at least 7-8 hours. How else can you keep up with everything else you are doing?
8. Take breaks to do fun things
With all that being said, enjoy your damn life once in a while. You need to let go sometimes, even during a busy season, and allow yourself to have fun. Schedule that girl time, make time for date nights, and even time for self-care. This will leave you feeling refreshed to jump back into the swing of things and feel re-energized.
Be realistic with your time though, maybe you can grab coffee with a friend, but you need to skip the dinner after. Allow yourself to find a balance so you can do the fun things that you enjoy.
9. Your Daily Cake
If you aren’t following Kacia Fitzgerald, you should. She has a podcast called EmpowerHer, that’s super motivating and helpful. One concept she created is “your daily cake.”
These are the top three things you must get done each day to move you forward. So, as opposed to just being busy, what are three things you can do NOW that will make a difference. I circle back to this during days I’m feeling overwhelmed. It helps me focus on the most important things that need to be done and prioritized. Kacia describes everything else other than those three as just sprinkles on top.
10. Be grateful
It’s easy during hectic times for us to have negative self-talk or complain about how tired we are, how much we hate that job, or how much we have to do. It’s totally okay to vent.
Just catch yourself and the language you are using all the time, not just some of the time. The language you use all the time creates neural pathways in your brain and conditions you to be in a negative state. What if you took a step back and reframed your mindset?
I used to be in a bad habit of negative self-talk and over-complaining. It’s easy to do. It’s easy to complain and find the bad. It’s harder to focus on the good during hard times. I encourage you to try it.
Instead of “I have to work in this job I hate” try “I get to work and gain experience that will allow me to apply to a job I feel more passionate about. This is helping me to realize the kind of work I don’t want to do but I am thankful to make an income in the current moment.”
Sometimes, a simple shift with your mindset can change your perspective of your situation.