How have you been doing lately?
If your first instinct is to say you’ve been busy, I encourage you to purge your day planner. For some of us the days are slipping by as we busy ourselves with tasks and errands and over-scheduling. When we plan out too much in our day, we are bound to exhausted, demanded of, and even out of touch with ourselves.
Busy has become a mantra for modern living, but we don’t have to follow along.
We keep busy for all different reasons. People might keep busy to avoid loneliness, to numb strong feelings, to distract themselves from pressing issues, to feel they have purpose. At the same time, people miss out on connecting with others, themselves, and with the things that they spend their time doing when they aim to fill every waking minute with something.
Before you begin purging your day planner, take time to reflect on how you are feeling, the reasons for and against keeping busy, how you dream of spending your time, and what responsibilities you cannot pass on. Once you are aware of what your feelings are on a situation, you can make positive and productive changes.
Consider the following 7 tips when purging your day planner:
- Automatically purge your calendar of all the obligations that no longer fuel you. If you’ve been bringing the cookies to your book club for the past three years and it has become a burden, stop. Someone else may be wishing they could try out a new recipe.
- Recognize that there are some things in life we cannot say no too. As caregivers, we know there are many times that are difficult and we wish that we didn’t have to. If there is no other option, the best thing that you can do is to tack on some self-care. For instance, if you will be spending time in a doctor’s waiting room, indulge in that book you’ve been meaning to start or buy yourself a new magazine.
- Be wary of the obligations that you enjoy enough to say yes in the moment but regret soon after. I once agreed to host a book club which I enjoyed at the meeting but the amount of preparation and the dread I felt cancelled it out.
- With your limited time, spend it with people who have a positive impact on your life. If you are tired of your friend going on and on without listening to a word you have to say, don’t schedule it.
- Don’t get rid of your commitments that challenge you. Even if they feel negative in the moment that you are doing them, the feeling of accomplishment afterwards will boost your self-esteem and are opportunities for your own personal growth.
- Delay your decisions. If you are being asked to commit to something and you don’t have an immediate yes or no response, ask for a time delay. Let them know when and how they will hear from you, and allow yourself to consider it.
- What have you always wished you had the time for? When you have purged your day planner, the number of obligations on your calendar that you respond with a strong yes offers an opportunity to reflect on what you would like to be spending your time on.
Did you gain any insights onto how you spend your time? We would love to hear about it in the comment section.