I just recently read a blog post regarding the quest for perfectionism in our society. It talks about how we strive for perfection in every aspect of our life: work, marriage, parenting, health, fitness, nutrition, etc. and this leads to an overwhelming feeling. We are bombarded with information, news, and media. Basically we know too much, understand too little and measure ourselves to the masses. Too often we attempt to smother fires before they become infernos, just to find another one around the corner.
How to calm the mind and attempt to get it all done, while staying relatively sane? Here are some tips to help juggle the daily load:
1. Wake up a little early – No, I am not encouraging you to get less sleep. However, many of us are going full speed from the second we wake up until the second we go to sleep. By waking up even just 15 minutes before the household, you’ll be assured a little peace, perspective and a little quiet time before kicking off the day.
2. Take advantage of your commute – Are you stuck in traffic for 30 minutes every day on the way to work? Take advantage of this time. You can use a voice recorder and make your to-do list or record an audio journal. If you never have time to read, get audio books. You can listen for pleasure, learn a foreign language, listen to motivational speakers or take a class through audio books.
3. Buy a slow cooker – Using a slow cooker will not only save you time, but will also bring you peace of mind to know that dinner is taken care of. Just throw in the ingredients in the morning and your dinner will be done when you get home from work.
4. Figure out your time wasters – Examine your daily schedule and see if there are tasks that are non-essential and can be removed or delegated.We all have things we do that eat up time. Do you spend 20 minutes looking for your keys every morning? Start putting them on a hook on the door. Do you waste an hour surfing the web every night before bed? Limit screen time in your house — for your kids and yourself.
5. Find a job you love – If you’re going to do something 2,000+ hours a year, make sure it is something you enjoy and an environment you enjoy working in. If you do enjoy your job, examine if the environment is family friendly and as flexible as you need. If not, ask for the flexibility you would like, so that you have the balance you desire. You want to work for a company that considers its employees and their families to be one of its greatest assets.
6. Take advantage of apps – These days, there is an app for everything. Take advantage of technology to help save time and your sanity. With banking apps, you can deposit checks from your phone. With grocery apps, you can use coupons without any clipping. With calendar apps, you can keep your family’s appointments and events organized. With food apps, you can find recipes that are quick and healthy. Check out these must-have apps for busy moms.
7. Learn to say NO – These days, most families are overscheduled. You don’t need to join every group, volunteer for every committee, sign your kids up for every activity or attend every event. Decide the things that are truly important to you and your family and make them a priority. Overpacking your schedule only leads to more frustration and exhaustion – learn to say no and measure yourself by your standards, no one else’s!
8. Learn to cut corners on things that don’t matter – Or give yourself permission to delegate them to someone else. Despite what you might have heard, there’s no law that says that you have to make all your meals from scratch, clean your own house and peruse Pinterest to build a better homemade mousetrap! Do enough housework to keep yourself from going crazy, but don’t overdo it. Better yet, if you can afford to, hire someone else to do your cleaning. You will have more time for the things that really matter to you — like spending time with family members and friends, or investing in your business.
9. Take care of yourself – put exercise on your calendar – You aren’t going to be able to keep up with work or your family if you don’t take care of yourself. Exercise will clear your mind and build your body. Even if it’s only 15 to 20 minutes a day, you need to make the time for yourself. Your health and family will benefit from this priority.
10. Live, laugh, love – Spouses and friendships are your support system so don’t push them to the backburner to be forgotten or taken for granted. Schedule “date” nights and “friend” nights; regular outings to catch up, get away and renew. If it is on your calendar, you are more likely to make it happen.
Again, there is no “right” way or magical formula to manage life. so, give yourself a break from the perfection carousel. Try to priortize and attack your to do list, but also give yourself breathing room and time to exhale. Find peace in the freedom to be the best YOU that you can be in any given moment. If a ball drops, let it bounce!
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