Do you ever wish you had more hours in your day because you are never going to get everything done? Or do you feel like you are rushing or that life is so crazy everything is a blur?
Well here are 5 simple ideas that will help with slowing down and enjoying life!
How To Slow Down
1. The Number 1 Time Management Myth
One of the biggest myths people believe about their time is that time can be managed. The truth is, you can’t manage time! However, what you can manage is yourself!
Observing how our kids change and grow over the years is a powerful example of this. Time passes whether we are productivity or slack, intentional about what we do or wasteful.
We all have the same 24 hours in a day and we get to chose what we do during that time.
Ever feel like you have no control over your time? It can be a game changer, when you realise that you do have control over yourself.
You can choose to make your hours and days count. How? By thinking about and spending your time on your most valuable relationships and activities.
O.K. that is harder during certain seasons… thinking of you, exhausted Moms of babies and toddlers.
Yet I encourage you even in challenging seasons to be mindful of what you fill your hours and days with.
What relationships and activities are priorities in your life at this time?
2. Completing Your To Do List Doesn’t Make You A Productivity Guru
Sounds great in theory, hey? You tell yourself, if I could just learn how to get stuff done more quickly I wouldn’t be so busy.
So you learn as many productivity hacks as possible. You get through more tasks on your to do list, you are feeling and looking super organized!
But Not All Activities and Tasks are Created Equal!
We are not made to simply cram our lives full, as full as my daughter crams her bag full, bursting at the seams, for an one night stay with her Dad. Seriously, bags are a lot easier to replace when the seams bust than people…
I love what author Emily Freeman writes in her book,
I don’t want to live my life in such a hurry that I’m always closing the fridge door with my foot and scribbling out birthday cards in my car at the last minute. I want to make bread, or at least find the time to toast it.
Yes, there are productivity hacks that make life easier. Like getting dinner on the table in less than 15 minutes; I love weekly meal planning for that reason!
Yet in the end, WHAT you do matters more than HOW MUCH you get done!
What less important tasks do you need to let go of to focus on your most important?
3. There Is No One Size Fits All Organizational System
Yes, a planner can be really helpful in organizing your home and your life! But unfortunately there is no universal approach to solve the problem of feeling overwhelmed and too busy in your life.
Each of us has so many different variables to consider… age, how much support we have, the size of our household, ages of our kids, how many hours we work, our health etc.
What is considered a relaxed, easy day for one person may be completely overwhelming for another person. Some of us work better earlier in the morning, some of us don’t.
Different Ways Of Organizing Your Time
Instead, I encourage you to try a few different approaches. Work out how to measure success, give the strategy time to work, and review and evaluate what worked and what didn’t.
For example, my approach to cleaning my house on a regular basis has varied a lot over the years.
- When I was working and had no kids, house cleaning was a couple of hours on a Saturday morning.
- When I was at home full time caring for a baby, toddler and a preschooler; cleaning… what’s cleaning?
- As a single Mum, with 2 kids in school and one still at home, cleaning happened all over the place with some help from the kids.
- Now with all 3 kids in school and a hubby who shares the load, I have daily tasks with weekly cleaning tasks added in.
Over the years I think I feel like a serial dieter, with the number of different organizational approaches I have tried. Some I have stuck with long term because they suit me and how I work. While other strategies bombed pretty quick!
What’s one area of your life you need to try a new organizational approach?
4. Whoever Said Using Your Time Well Depends Completely On You
Good point! Who said that? Because whoever said that hasn’t spent much time in my home lately!
The reality is… the more people you have in your life, which IS a blessing, the more mess brings. Factors such as the needs and preferences of babies, kids, pets, husbands and even your work environment can affect how you are able to use your time.
However, you do have a choice about how you respond!
Feeling frustrated and overwhelmed can be greatly reduced by adjusting your expectations (goodbye perfectionism) and what is possible to achieve with the time you have. As well being more intentional about how you use the time have each day.
Use The Margins Of Your Day
For example; Having a long work commute every day may mean using the time to listen to audio books or make phone calls. If you have young kids at home, it may mean using 5 minute pockets of time through out the day intentionally.
For me that looks like using the 2 hours I have on a Saturday morning watching the kids’ gymnastics lessons. I take along my weekly planner, a pen and a thermos of tea.
I use the time to reflect on the past week and what I am grateful for. I then plan out my coming week, including appointments, errands, meals and action steps towards my goals.
Check out this weekly planning post!
What margin time could you make use of in your day or week?
5. Stop and Smell The Roses
Whoa, hang on a minute… But you haven’t seen what’s on my plate!!
No, I haven’t but I do know that some of you have a lot going on… from raising a kid with developmental issues, to caring for elderly parents and sometimes both at once. Or just the normal, crazy busyness of working full time and looking after a family.
And yet there is a way…
Laura Vanderkam, author of 168 Hours, disputes the widespread myth of the time crunch that claims Mums today have no time to breathe, let alone relax.
Vanderkam would say we have more hours of leisure time than we think we do. Rather than saying “I don’t have time”, what we mean is, “It’s not a priority”.
There are 168 hours in a week; 40 to 50 hours of work, 64 hours of sleep with 64 hours remaining to use. We have a lot of time in our lives!! The question is what are we doing with it and more importantly what do we want to be doing with that time?
This is one idea I struggle with. It feels easier to say my kids take up all my time rather than say I deliberately spend more than a hour a day on social media.
Yet the research shows (through people’s time diaries) that most of us have more time available to us than we realise. Believing we are time poor, can result in us rushing from one activity to another rather than planning out our days and weeks!
All you have to do is decide what to do with the time given to you! So slow down your life this week and consider what it is you want to do with your hours and days, and move in that direction. You may end finding you have more time than you realized!