How I Cope With Busy Work Schedules
So it happens to us all. Life gets complicated, stressful and busy because, as we discover with every extra frown line and the trips to Superdrug to buy concealer for the extra dark circle under the eye, that we have taken on too much!
I'm waking up in the middle of the night panicking because I forgot to do something. Did I cancel Amazon Prime, did I make that doctor's appointment for Friday or Monday, did I remember to post that birthday card and what was the deadline for submitting to that all important writing competition? All of this while trying to keep up with other work commitments, family, friends, exercise, healthy eating and not missing cool stuff on Netflix.
But I shouldn't joke. Life, ordinary, everyday life can be a very stressful business.
I'm writing this post on my birthday, a day that I've chosen to stop, relax and enjoy for as many hours in the day as I can do. I realise that with all the things I've got going on, juggling everything, trying to keep all the plates in the air without dropping them, I'm failing miserably and pieces of my work, rest and play are falling to the ground. Time to pick them up?
As someone who likes to stay organised, even when the going gets tough, I do slip up a lot and I have to return to these simple (or maybe not so simple) steps in order to get on track:
Write a daily To Do list at the end of the day. Don't go to bed in planning mode. Get it all on paper so you don't have to toss and turn at night thinking about what you need to do the next day so you can forget it for one night.
Prioritise. I give my list numbers in order of importance so if I don't get something done I shouldn't panic because it might not be crucial for another week anyway.
Get a night time routine. If you're a bad sleeper, like me, it's so helpful to have a bedtime routine that gets you in the mood for sleep. Switch off devices. Have a warm bath. Read a book in a comfy chair with no distractions. Do some relaxing yoga, breathing exercises or meditation. Write tomorrows To Do list. Self massage with essential oils. Do some or all of these. I know from experience that when I'm being sensible and I have a routine I get a better night's sleep.
Be prepared to say no to people. Don't take on more than you can handle. Sometimes you have to be firm with yourself and with other people about what you can and can't do at any given time. If you take on too much and make mistakes or mess up, no one will thank you.
Eat well and exercise. You don't have to train for a marathon or enter yourself for a Taekwondo competition. You just have to be sensible, apply some self control and stick to the things you know full well are in your interest when it comes to health issues. It's not to say you can't have the occasional treat. But if you make it occasional it becomes a whole lot more enjoyable. A treat can be a new book or a new item of clothing - it doesn't have to be a meat pie or a jam doughnut.
Which brings me back to today. My birthday. The day when everything is on hold for now, the To Do list, the exercise, everything. I'm going to have a big treat in the way of a big gooey cake today. I haven't splurged in a while. I'll have hours of doing nothing but by this evening I will have re-centred, thought long and hard about all of the above and be ready to take on the busy bustle of life with a rested and focussed attitude.
Take a deep breath.