Just like many of you, I wear a lot of hats and juggle many different obligations on a day to day basis. I was invited to listen to a podcast about prioritizing your life, and what I took away was so powerful and meaningful in my own life, that I just have to share in case you are in a similar boat!
First things first, she discussed the glorification of "busy" in our lives today.
We somehow equate being busy, with being "important".
And that is just not true.
There are many things we add to our plates because this idea that we are "busy moms" or "supermoms" makes us feel good.
We feel proud.
REALLY tired, overworked and stressed... but proud or accomplished.
But according to some smarty pants doctors, we humans can really only juggle between 5-7 things at a time and still do them all well...that's the key I think... how many of your tasks do you feel like you're failing at?
I know I often feel that I'm doing a lot, but not always 100% at any of it! (For example cleaning my house, thank God for 2nd floors, that's where I hide the crap!)
So, what do we do? How do we regain balance, reduce stress and feel like we are thriving?
First she challenges you to write down all the things you do, and really take time to think about it. You can't just put "mommy" and let that be some all encompassing category... you need to break that down... mommy, making homecooked meals, cleaning, homeschooling etc etc...
I was SHOCKED when I wrote down all the things I was trying get done on a daily/weekly basis. Seriously a good 20 things!
The next step is where it gets hard. Pick 5-7 (or 6 cause that seems to be the middle ground :) )
You don't need to rank those 6 in order of importance, that can really freak people out. You just need to know what your 6 are. Take time, think about it. Pray about it. Talk to your spouse.
CR and I did this, we discussed which 6 were staying and which just had to go.
For example, after choosing my 6, cleaning didn't make the list. Well, that just isn't going to work, SOMEONE has to clean :) SO what that means for me is that no matter how much I want to fight it, we are hiring a cleaning person to come every other week.
My husband and I will still do our day to day cleaning, but someone else is taking over the deep cleans. Not that I don't want the help of course, but in my mind, it's my job as the mom to do the cleaning. And that money could better be used elsewhere!
But the reality is, if taking that off my plate frees up more time for those 6 things that I feel are important in my life, then it needs to be done.
You may find it hard to let go of certain things or commitments, but she promises you'll see how much better things get when you do. And I'm inclined to believe her! It's been just a few days, but making the decision to say NO to certain things already feels very empowering!
One of the things that ended up making the list even though I was very tempted to cut it, was my own health/fitness. I've realized over the last few years that eating healthy and working out help me be a better mom. I have more energy to keep up with all the crazy and I'm setting a good example for my kids about how to care for the vessel that God gave us. For me it's not about achieving a "beach body" or being "bikini ready"...it's about how I feel and feeling strong mentally and physically. So while I was very tempted to cut that and keep something else on the list, I know I need to carve out that 30 minutes a day to workout, and do my best to eat a balanced/healthy diet.
Finally, the other thing she reminded us is that this list is fluid. It can change as your life changes. As new priorities arise and others must fall away...you add a new baby, change jobs, take up a new hobby etc. Don't feel shackled to your 6, it should feel freeing! I would share my list, but it doesn't really matter. Our lives all look so different and what makes the list for me, may not even be ON your list at all. They are just going to look different for us all.
Like I mentioned, I had a hard time removing certain things from my own list, and some of them I am still trying to figure out how to deal with removing. But all in all, it's great advice, and I know it will help me find balance, and hopefully you as well!
Please leave a comment and let me know if you're going to try it, and how it works for you! Are you shocked at how long your current list is? Is it easy to see what needs to be cut?
C'mom mama's! Let's stop glorifying busy and start living in a more balanced life!