This post will be the first in a series on stress management.
You’ve probably said it when someone inquires how you’re doing:
“I’ve got too many plates to juggle.” “Busy.” “A lot going on.” “Trying to keep up.” Here’s a fact: Whatever happens (or doesn’t) during the day is drastically affecting the quality of sleep in this country.
If you REALLY want to get a grip on your proverbial plates, you must examine and evaluate what your priorities are. REALLY. It’s not an issue of time management, it’s an issue of personal management. Here are some coaching tips for managing all your “plates.” Ask yourself these questions:
- What keeps your daily schedule so busy that you have no cushion or margin? Write down those daily activities that devour your day.
- What stresses you? Stress is unique, and what stresses you is probably different from what stresses out someone else.
- What are your BELIEFS that drive your behavior? Remember: All actions only follow a set of (automatic) beliefs that motivate you to keep juggling.
You may feel that you have no choice. Guess again. And that’s the good news….you DO have a choice!
Start with the basics:
-Examine your schedule, your spouse’s schedule, and your kids’ schedule. What needs to go? A huge part of stress management is learning to say “NO” to many things, often good things.
-Stay true to what you value as a family. Time with each other. Down time. Yes, down time is good. Parents, allow your children to see you relaxing and don’t sign them up for too many extra curricular activities. Believe it or not, they’ll be in college with or without the padded resume. They’ll be just fine.
-Think about 5 years from now. Will you be content to say you “did it right” and slowed down long enough to place an emphasis on what is REALLY important to you? If you keep up this pace will you have later regrets?
-Make room for relationships. Yes, intentional scheduling to be with friends. It won’t happen by default. Your “to do” list will be forgotten. How you developed relationships won’t.
Get rid of some of your “plates.” You can only eat off one at a time.
This is Hope Unveiled.