Life can be busy, we all know it and we all feel it. The key here is that it can be busy, but does that mean it has to be? My answer and I hope to help you get there too is that no, life does not have to be busy. Life can be leisurely at times, life can be relaxing and you can even have some extra time on your hands…if you work at it. I know, I know, now I am adding more work for you but this is good work, important work, and work that will help you be a better person/ parent/spouse/employee, friend, etc.
A quick thing you can work on is to protect your calendar and not let meaningless things take it over. Build a wall around that calendar that requires 3 steps to get through:
- Will this event help me or my family further our goals/dreams/hopes/plans?
- Will I be able to use this event to positively impact those around me?
- Will this event take away from the time I have set aside for myself/kids/wife/family/close friends?
If you are filling your schedule with things that do not matter or don’t positively impact you and those close to you then you are probably going to feel busy and overwhelmed. On the other hand, if you are filling your schedule with things that are meaningful and help you be a better person or positively impact people around you then chances are you will begin to feel fulfilled. So even if you are busy, you feel good about that busy because it’s a meaningful busy!
You should always have goals for yourself and your family and you should filter things out that will either get in the way of those or not help you get closer to them. Life with kids, in particular, can be difficult as you want to give them the best life you can and help them become the amazing individuals you know they can be. That does not mean they should control your calendar; they should not be able to get through that wall you built around your calendar very easily. Although, they can yell suggestions from outside the wall if they want!
Often parents get into a child-pleasing pattern in life and their calendar begins to reflect it. The playdates, birthday parties, sports and countless other activities that parents find themselves filling their calendars with that end up please the kids but do nothing to further family and personal goals or create a meaningful relationship with your children. If you are their parent then you should be raising them, not a coach or other adult running an activity. Your child needs your time, needs your attention and needs your love much more than they need to be busy with all of these things. With that in mind, it’s important to find a balance between activities that fit you and your family. This goes for those without kids too; find a balance that works for you. If you are stressed out and feeling too busy then it’s time to change that balance and make things work!
If you use the 3 step filter above you will begin to weed out the things that are causing you to be feeling overwhelmed and busy and then you can start on adding in activities that fulfill those 3 questions and help you feel fulfilled. You don’t have to be perfect, and you might need to change around the 3 steps above to fit your structure and that’s ok. The important thing is that you are intentional about your schedule. Some activities are ok but please for the sake of your sanity and your families, work on that wall around your calendar and protect it!