Balance is a myth.
Everywhere you look, somewhere it touting the ten steps to living a balanced life. I’m here to tell you: there is no such thing as a perfectly balanced life.
No matter how hard we try, some weeks will be horrendously over-scheduled.
The reason for this is simple. We can’t control everything. No matter how we try, we can’t control the weather or the kids getting sick or the car breaking down or clients’ vendor’s changes drastically moving up our deadline.
Yet, these things still happen, taking all our promises of balance and throwing them out the window.
In those days or weeks that you’re feeling harried and rushed, and just a little overwhelmed, try a few of the tips below to make you feel a little less frantic.
1. Make a list If you already have a list, great. Now make another one. Make a list of the things that ABSOLUTELY MUST be done. Depending on the circumstances these tasks may vary. Your list may focus on client or household needs. It may include both. But having a list of the things that MUST be done today (as opposed to a to do list, which can often span longer timelines) can focus your energy on the items that really need doing rather than the items that are “nice to haves”. It can also help you budget to say “Sorry, mom, I really can’t chat now but I’ll call you tomorrow.” when your list shows you what has to be done and what time you’ve got to do it in. Alternately, it may give you some peace to find there’s only one thing that absolutely must get done today and after that you can rest and prioritize as needed.
2. Do Something Feeling overwhelmed by your to do list? Then do something. Stop wasting time worrying and check off some to do items. A great way to start is to do 2-3 things that must be done but don’t take much time. This way, you’ve got a number of items off your list and can quickly feel more productive and less stressed.
3. Get Some Exercise It may seem counter intuitive that when you’re pressed for time, I advocate going to workout. But exercise is a great stress reliever and is proven to help clear your mind. Feeling better can greatly increase your productivity. Even a ten minute walk around the block or yoga session can do wonders for your mood.
4. Cancel something You know almost before you look at your list what you should cancel. Maybe it’s a club that’s not satisfying to you or a potential client who is taking much of your time for little future benefit. Whatever it is, you likely know it would be better to give it up. So do it. You’ll feel better.
5. Work ahead Oh, you feel just fine right now? Not overwhelmed at all? That’s awesome. Now go write a blog post for your business. Eventually, your dog is going to eat a bunch of chocolate (or some other such event that will totally throw you for a loop) so it’s best to be prepared and work ahead whenever you can. Having backup content to rely on or a project ahead of schedule is almost always more valuable than Keeping Up With the Kardashians.
How do you tackle things when you feel overwhelmed? Do you outsource things or use any of the tactics above?