Does this sound like you? There are too many appointments, too many meetings, calls, pickups, drop-offs, errands, and to-dos. You are juggling a job and home life, relationships, and raising kids. Your schedule is so packed you feel truly out of control. Something has to change, but life is chaotic and you can’t always slow it down.
When I’m overwhelmed, I stop everything and ask myself the following 5 questions. While there is no quick fix (I have 3 kids, I know this for sure!) these 5 questions help you gain perspective, realign your priorities, and feel more control of your time and energy. This is true self-care.
Are you using a shared family calendar?
Yes, I’m a paper planner girl at heart, but I also use shared digital calendars with my family and my team! Shared digital calendars are a quick and easy form of communication. Things get very out of whack at our house if we aren’t actively using our shared family calendar. If I update the shared family calendar regularly (work families count too), communication is assured. I don’t have to text updates to my husband. Check the calendar, honey!
What really needs to get done and how much time will it take?
Spend some time figuring out exactly how much you need to get done and how long it will take. In a panic state, I think, “I have a MILLION emails to respond to.” When I stop myself from panicking and truly look at my inbox, I have 10 emails to return and it will take an hour. Now I have a realistic idea of what needs to get done and the time I need to block off to do it.
What can you take off the list?
Yes, there is a lot you want and need to do. There is probably a lot you feel like you should do. But what isn’t essential? What can you give yourself grace with and remove from that ever-growing pile of to-dos? Taking even one thing off your list can feel like the relief you need to push forward.
What can be outsourced?
Not everyone can hire a personal assistant, a house cleaner, or an errand-runner. But are there things that can be outsourced? Are there tasks you could trade with a friend or a swap out with your partner? Batching tasks also comes into play here. It takes more time and energy to switch gears than we think. Switching too many gears in a day is exhausting!
Am I optimizing for my core competency?
Core competencies are the proficiencies I have that no one else in my family or on my team has; it’s my competitive advantage. Ideally, I’m doing more of my core competency than anything else. This can’t always be fixed right away but good to know where things stand. Our family, the business, and my life will run smoother if I’m focusing on the things I do best and allowing others to do the same!
Come back to these 5 questions next time your schedule feels out of control. It’s the best thing you can do for yourself. Share below what helps you when your schedule is too packed!