|Do you try to do more than you can handle?|
Time is a strange concept. It seems that most people live according to some sort of time schedule, usually attempting to squeeze in more time than there is. They say things like, “I don’t have time” or “I wish there was more time.”The problem isn’t the amount of time in a day. Everyone has the same amount of time. The problem arises when people either agree to do too much because they have taken on more than they can handle or they don’t schedule enough, not making the time for what is important to them.
Do you take on more than you can handle and then feel stressed? Do you have a problem saying “No” or try to please everyone all the time? Trying to do more than you can handle is like pouring hot coffee into a cup that is already full. If you keep pouring, it will burn you. It’s all right to pace yourself, choosing to do what is important to you and not committing to everyone and everything that vies for your attention. Remember that if you are overworked and overstressed, then you won’t be much good to anyone. Practice setting boundaries and limits on how many things you schedule, and then you will have time to drink that cup of coffee!
“The key is not to prioritize what’s on your schedule, but to schedule your priorities.”
~ Stephen Covey
Take a look at your life. Is it over scheduled with activities to the point where you feel that you don’t have time for self-improvement, creative endeavors, or quality time with loved ones? If you make a list of the top five priorities in your life, do you make time to attend to them? Decide what is important, schedule it, and then schedule the rest. You will be surprised at how much your life will be enhanced when you focus on what is truly important to you.
I periodically reevaluate my life and make a list of the five most important things to me. Right now, it’s peace of mind, relationships, my dogs, writing, and spirituality. Because these things are a priority to me, I make time for them first. Then I schedule everything else. As time goes on, the priorities will change and so will my schedule of activities. It is impossible to do everything and be there for everyone all the time. You must become aware of your limitations, scheduling no more than you can comfortably handle. If you over-schedule, you will become tired and stressed, which makes everything in life less enjoyable. When you get so caught up in the multitude of activities that you have committed to, you may end up neglecting what is most important to you.
When your cup is full, stop pouring!
Evaluate your schedule, and ask yourself, “What is important to me?” Make time for what matters most to you, and then schedule the rest. If a relationship is important, then schedule quality time together. If it’s your health, then schedule regular exercise routines and plan a healthy meal schedule. When you focus on what is important to you, you will feel at peace with your life and how you spend your time.
Do not take on more than you can handle in a balanced way. Taking on too much creates stress and imbalance in the rest of your life. Practice saying “No” when necessary.
Become aware of what is important to you, then make time for your priorities. Let the rest of your life be balanced with other activities that you have agreed to, but never more than you can comfortably handle.