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Yesterday, for the first time in I don’t know how long, I stayed home to play catch up. Since I spend most days on-site with clients and most evenings running from activity to activity, my own to-do list often takes a backseat.
Whether you’re stressed with a demanding job, busy taking care of your kids all day or helping with aging parents, we often spend days, even weeks, running on autopilot. The trouble is that functioning in survival mode can only last for so long.
There are certain things (like writing this article for one) that requires thought and uninterrupted time; A novel concept for most of us.
So how do you get ahead when you spend every day catering to everyone else?
1. Just Say No. Have you ever noticed that it’s always the same group of people who volunteer at Church, school, or extracurricular activities? The more you do, the more people ask of you. There is only so much time you have to spare, so it’s ok to be selective. Don’t feel compelled to say “yes” to everyone who asks, especially if it comes at the expense of your sanity.
2. Schedule a day to catch up (and I don’t mean taking a vacation). Vacations are great, but they don’t address the root of the problem. Getting away is a nice distraction, but eventually when you come home, you’re walking into the same chaos as when you left. The only way to truly breathe a sigh of relief is to schedule a day to play catch up in your home.
3. Lead by example. If you want your kids to make their beds every morning, make sure that you make yours. If you want them to put their backpacks away, don’t leave your purse on the table. If you want your kids to pick up their toys, don’t leave piles of clutter around the house. You see where I am going with this? Kids mimic the behavior they see. The best thing you can do for your family is to empower them to pitch in and help out.
Life is like a roller coaster, and it isn’t going to slow down for you. Sometimes it’s best to sit out the ride until you get your bearings.