For those who don’t know me, I own a business with my sister, own vacation rentals, volunteer, I blog, and am a wife. For fun, I do things with my friends, sew, cook, and craft. So, things can get a bit hectic and out of hand. The following tips are what I use to stay sane (or at least attempt sanity!).
These are the things that keep me going:
1. Prioritize. What do you want to do now or what opportunity might not come along again? Former Texas Governor Ann Richards once said to a group of young women (I was one at the time), “You can have it all, just not all at the same time.” I want to do the best I can at everything I do, so I would rather say no for now than to do a mediocre job (be it for work, volunteer, etc.)
2. Plan. I plan everything. I plan dinners for the week. I plan clothes for the week. I plan plans for the week. When I have a plan and stick to it, chaos is held at bay. When I don’t have a plan or vary from it, mayhem ensues. I stick to the plan.
3. Get help. I find that sometimes help can actually be a hindrance. Sometimes, it creates more work for me. However, I do get help via housekeepers twice a month. That saves me from some routine cleaning tasks such as cleaning floors, baths, the kitchen and washing sheets and towels. It is worth it to me so that I have one less thing to do and so that my house stays decently clean.
4. Add value. I have spent a lot of time in my adulthood working and volunteering. Either way, if I make a commitment, I am going to do my best to fulfill it. For that reason I want to work and volunteer where I can make a difference. If anyone can do what I am doing, then someone else needs to take up the reins. If my skills are needed and it is something I want to do, I will take it on.
5. Ask yourself, “What can wait?” I find this most poignant before a vacation. On my to-do list, I may have, “stop at the store for vacation necessities, drop off clothes at dry cleaner, get cash at the bank.” If I am not needing the clothes dry cleaned for vacation or as soon as I return, then that task can wait. There is usually something on our list that has to be done, but maybe not that day.
On a bigger picture, I am so wanting to be a beekeeper. I have taken the class, done my research, and am ready to take the plunge. On review however, I have decided to wait about a year or two. There is too much going on now, and it wouldn’t be fair to the bees or as fun for me if I didn’t have time to enjoy it.
6. It is not a piano. I used to teach a class, Freshman Success, when I was an administrator at a university. One of the concepts we taught was: It is not a piano. This means most of what we do doesn’t have to be perfect. For the instances when you aren’t creating something that has to be perfect, accept mediocre. Sometimes at family dinners, instead of making everything from scratch, I buy Sister Shubert rolls. They are tasty, save me time, and I don’t have to worry that they might not turn out. My family is okay with that.
If you are a busy person, find what works for you. You can try the above tips and alter/exchange to fit your needs.
The main thing is stay sane and healthy. You are no good to anyone, including yourself, if you are run down, tired and stressed. Life should be enjoyable.
What are your tips for busy people? Please share your successes so that we may all benefit!