Monday, 13 February 2012
We all know the scenario: we look at someone we know and wonder how they do it... they're raising a family, their house is always immaculate, they do some work on the side and sometimes they take on other responsibilities too - with confidence, ease and a smile on their face.
At least that's what we see when we look at them. And it leaves us feeling like we are somehow less than everyone else. Why does everyone else find it so easy when I'm barely managing?
But you know what. Chances are, they too feel like they're about to drop a ball or two sometimes. Likely they have done in the past. The trick is to be brave enough to pick them up again and keep going.
Besides that, you shouldn't be comparing yourself to them anyway. (Easier said than done?)
I like this image. We all have x number of things that we're trying to juggle each week. I know I do. I also know that I am often wondering how I can keep all the balls in the air. I am beginning to understand that if I do drop one it's not the end of the world. I can pick it back up and keep right on going. Sometimes, maybe I even need to let it stay there for a while. After all, it will still be there when I come back for it. The trick is to make sure that you focus on keeping the important ones up.
These are some things that I have done or found that help me to manage the times when I feel I have too much on my plate. (It's a good way to remind myself that I need to apply these things too!)
First - simply, prioritise. If it seems there is too much to do, I find that most often it's because I'm doing too much. When this happens I have to decide which things are important for me to do and which things are just 'nice'. This applies day to day as well as on a weekly basis. Just because I enjoy doing something, doesn't mean it is a priority and at times that means I have to decide that I'm going to cut it out of my schedule, even if it is something I enjoy. This doesn't have to be long-term though. Sometimes it may only be for one day or one week. When I find I have more time on my hands, then I can take it up again. Sometimes this means forgetting the dust bunnies under the bed and just enjoying time with my precious family. On the other hand, sometimes it means staying home and catching up on house work in stead of going out.
Next - if you're struggling to find time to do important things, schedule it. I find that by having a schedule for things I'm more likely to put other things aside and get it done. If you fail to plan you plan to fail, as my husband likes to remind me. Too often I'll get in to the mind set of 'when I get the chance'... which is never as productive for me. Of course being too regimented can do my head in as well, so it is a good idea to have some unscheduled time to do whatever takes your fancy.
For me the most important thing I can do is to not compare how I manage things with how others do. If you need to compare yourself to someone, compare with your past self. If I'm doing things better than I used to, that's good enough for me.
Now I really have to go, and take care of the things... or rather, people that matter most!