These last few weeks has been focused searching for balance in my day to day life. I have been saying to myself “when the kids go back to school then I will have time for….” and then I list a whole heap of things I want/need to do.** I am not alone as in our discussion group we too have been discussing balance – specifically around to-do lists.
Many of you will already know that I love a to-do list, it helps me see what I want to achieve. Then I allocate times to each task e.g. write a weekly blog (45 mins) so that I can guesstimate how long everything will take and then whether I have time. I almost always do. Writing a list this way helps me with that feeling of being overwhelmed and stops me being paralysed in terms of not knowing where to begin.
In the last year or so I have stopped using to-do lists in the traditional way. Now I use a ‘3 things’ system where first thing in the morning I add 3 things into my calendar that I absolutely *have* to get done that day (today = writing this article, pruning the raspberry canes and email a couple of coaching clients). I find that only having 3 things to do in a day is much more manageable. If I get them done then I can add 3 more.
Doing it this way allows me to be more present in the moment and go with the flow, rather than worrying about what else I need to do, or what I haven’t completed yet. It’s about doing what you need to do to get through the day and not worrying if that means getting nothing done. When I say nothing, very rarely do we actually achieve nothing.
Self-care isn’t always about taking time out and pondering the existence of life or recharging your batteries. Sometimes too much time to yourself is unhelpful, particularly if you are naturally reflective. (I will talk about this next week). Self-care is about balance.
Life is a little like a tightrope. Everyone has busier times and quiet times and some periods are in our life are more stressful than others. Sometimes we tread the line perfectly, other times we wobble. Looking after yourself during those busier, more stressful times might be taking three minutes a day to write down the three things you need to get done. During the more peaceful times it might be a long walk in nature or it might be taking up something that we have always wanted to do.
Self-care is recognising you are good enough and that you are doing what is best for you at any given period of your life/career. Do whatever soothes your soul.
All of the tips and advice I give to you are for you to play around with, find what works for you. I would love to hear how you get on. Comment below or get in touch via social media or email to share your experiences and ideas.
** I never will get them all done, I know that but at least I feel better for writing them down!