Lately it feels as if my life is running on fast forward. Between working full time for a startup, the kids’ activities, juggling chores with my husband’s travel schedule, and trying to publish a book it’s hard to fit everything into a 24-hour day. Sometimes I get overwhelmed just thinking about the week ahead. While Prime has become my new best friend, there are days when I’d like to be able to run to the store to buy staples like milk and not have it be 9:00 pm. Summer is here and all those outdoor activities are still on my bucket list. I’m not sure where my free time went because even in the evenings, I’m getting caught up with what I couldn’t accomplish during the day. I have a backlog of emails in my inbox and a list of shows on my DVR with many episodes unseen. So don’t tell me what happened on the season finale of Grey’s Anatomy. As the old saying goes, “nothing in this world is free,” and I’ve decided that no time is truly “free” anymore.
I’m sure many of you can relate. In today’s hectic world there’s an expectation that we are connected 24/7 and it can be hard to wind down. Even when I power off my phone at night it takes me a good twenty minutes before I can power off my running to do list. I often wonder: how do people do it? How do they balance everything?
I’ve come to the realization that prioritization is the new balance. There are some days when it’s just not possible to do it all.
So I’ve decided to focus on what’s truly important and I will get to the rest when I get to it. While this philosophy may seem simple, it’s been freeing. I think many of us put pressure on ourselves to do it all – and perfectly. I’ve found when I try to do everything I spread myself thin and this often leads to less than optimal results. Instead I’ve been focusing on fewer things and doing them well.
My new outlook is one day at a time. It’s a simple concept but it’s really helped me manage the anxiety I feel about trying to balance everything. Rather than looking too far ahead I’m focusing on small tasks I need to accomplish. It’s much easier to think about tackling a few things in the short-term, and I feel that much better once they’re done and it’s easier to move on to the next. I consider it a small victory when I get through a day where my son had a baseball game at the same time as my daughter’s softball game and I managed to figure it out and get them both where they needed to be. Or when I was able to rearrange carpool while stuck in traffic on the highway because I wouldn’t be home in time for my shift.
I’m taking back my time by doing the things that need to be done. One of those things is writing. I’ve had the edits back on my manuscript for my latest book, Finding Forgiveness, since December. I was hoping to publish my book in late March in time for spring break. It’s now summer and I’m finally ready to launch. It took longer than anticipated, but I wanted to make sure to devote the time to do it right rather than rush and have something ready for an arbitrary timetable. Launch day is July 11th. Eleven is one of my lucky numbers, so I hope people will find it worth the wait. While there will never be enough time, we have to make the most of the time that we do have. In the infamous words of Ferris Bueller, “Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.”