If you are anything like me, you can get bogged down in the busyness of life. With the holiday season quickly approaching, it seems that everything you do is hustle and bustle, running back and forth, to and fro. Possibly one of the most important things you can do to relieve the stressfulness of being booked solid is adding one more thing to your schedule–“you-time.”
As absurd as adding another element to your schedule sounds, I have found this technique of “you-time” to be extremely beneficial. When we are running around like chickens with our heads cut off, it is difficult to take time and look back and reflect on what we have been doing or look forward to where we are going. This is what I call autopilot. We get in this rut in our day-to-day routines and we become robots simply doing the next thing on our agenda to get one more thing crossed off our agenda and getting closer to being less busy. The ironic thing about being stuck in autopilot is that the fuel for keeping your plane of chaos up in the air seems to be to add more and more items your schedule when in reality, a break from the craziness will suffice.
The Manual Override
To get down off autopilot and try to regain control of your life so you can enjoy every moment, one of the most practical things I have found is to take a moment for yourself. I know in the midst of everything else you have going on, that seems impossible, but in reality, we have a lot more time in our days than we actually think. On your calendar or in your daytimer or wherever you keep your agenda, schedule 30-minutes to an hour of just “you-time.”
Set apart this time for you to get out of your workspace, out of the places that stress you out or associated with your to-do lists and separate yourself from the world and technology just so you can reflect on life. For me, there is nothing that slows me down and let’s me regain the wheel to my life than to take a long walk through a park or a hike through woods and the mountains. As you walk, take time to reflect on what you have been doing and why you have been doing it. Take time to look to the future, not to the things you have to get done, but to the big picture of where you are going. If you are like me, I take that time to talk with God and just pray. Sometimes I’ll even bring a journal and sit down by a river and just write my thoughts.
Scheduling in just a little bit of you-time can very possibly be the most fundamental element of success as you move forward with your busy schedule. These tranquil alone times bring you back to being a person. They allow you to think on your emotions, collect your breath and they can serve as a reminder of why you are doing everything that you are doing.
It is absolutely amazing what a simple 30 minutes of reflection outside of your workspace can do in terms of helping you manage your schedule. This will also give you energy to manage your time more efficiently and work more effectively. So, in the midst of the parties and the shopping and the end-of-year work, just take a moment to yourself and remember why you do what you do.