The way you live your days is the way you live your life.
~ Annie Dillard
I’ve been reading a really interesting book, Overwhelmed: Work, Love and Play when No One Has the Time, by Brigid Schulte. She was intrigued after being told that she has 30 hours of leisure a week; this from a sociologist who has spent years studying how people use time. This statement did not sit well with the author, a mother of two who is trying to keep her head above water managing her kids, her full time job, her spouse and all of the myriad activities associated with each.
I’m sure many of you can relate to how she felt, this constant feeling of being in the “on” position. And then being told you have more leisure time than you think!
Why is it that women, in particular, feel so exhausted on the constant treadmill of our lives?
Well, part of the answer is that we seldom take the time to reflect on what we truly want in our lives. We just scurry to and fro, victims of fragmented attention, left feeling that we haven’t done anything really well.
Taking time to just stop and think about what we’d like to accomplish in our lives—who’s got time for that mystery?
But I have a feeling that many of you would love a change.
So, let me ask you. What would you choose to do if your schedule suddenly opened up? Would you read? Walk outside? Journal about what you do want? Spend more time with your family? Truly, what’s the thing (or things) you’d happily plug into this newfound free time?
Here’s an eye-opener for you: these things that you just came up with, they’re important to you. These are your longings; what you want more of in your life. My question then is, how many of these important things are scheduled on your calendar? Let’s be honest here.
I bet your answer is “no.” And yet, you’ve just indicated these things are important to you!
What’s up with that?
If you’re like me, if it doesn’t appear on my calendar, the likelihood that I’ll get to it is nil. Because I forget. Or I let other things get in the way. Or other people’s expectations cloud my decisions.
I get all of this.
So, what have I found to help me?
Each morning I try to write into my calendar the 3 most important things for the day. And one of these items is always just for me. (Sometimes I skip that one and then pay for it later. I’m still a work in progress…)
And you know what? The days that I follow this routine turn out to be better days. Because I feel a sense of accomplishment. Because I’ve completed what is important—to me. Because I know that I have taken care of myself.
Do I get others things done, too? Sure, lots, and that’s icing on the cake!
Your Call to Action:
Sit quietly and think about your most perfect day. What would you want more of in your life? Write these down. Now, take one of those items and schedule it on your calendar for the next week. At the end of next week, reflect on how adding that item—making sure it happened—affected you.
Extra challenge: schedule one of your items on each day of the week. Then note how adding something every day affected you.