Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Don't Blame The Dishes!

A friend recently asked me how I gage when I am doing to much, and how to know when to back off.  {Insert hysterical laughter here.}  She was so asking the wrong person.  I have always struggled with trying to do too  much.  I like to think I can do it all.  And after having children, I wanted to not only do it all, but be the perfect mother as well.  For a while things would hum along well.  But after a while, the load would get heavier and heavier until something as simple as dishes in the sink would become the straw that broke the camel's back.  For me this meant a headlong plunge into the dark abyss.

Because of that I have worked really, really, hard to avoid that particular scenario.  No I didn't stop doing the dishes, (I wish!) but I did start looking at some of the things that were weighing me down physically, mentally, and emotionally.

When considering what I can and cannot manage, I have realized that I often dance dangerously close to the edge of the "cliff."  Do you ever do that?  Where you take on a little bit more, then a little bit more, and don't realize until too late that you're teetering on the brink?

A few strategies that have worked for me when trying to keep my life balanced are:

1. Avoid DIY blogs and Pinterest unless looking for a specific item or solution.  Information overload can easily become a series of thing's I feel like I "should" do.  

2.  Just Say No.  There will always be things that need doing, and people who need help doing them!  Say yes once in a while, but say no just as much.  "I can't this time, but could you please let me know next time you need help."  See, that was easy!

3.  Make a list of the most important things you want to do each day and why.  Print it out and post it on the fridge to remind yourself of what is most important to you.  I have a list on my fridge called "At The End of The Day All That Matters…" followed by a few things that matter most to me and my family.

4.  Schedule breaks into the day.  I actually put them in my planner.  If you can't find time for at least 3 10 minute breaks in your day, then it's time to look at and possibly re-evaluate your schedule.

5. Set limits on technology--how much to use it each day, and how accessible it can be.  My cell phone has a permanent home in a box in my kitchen. Keeping it there helps me to not feel the need to constantly check and answer e-mail, text messages, and Facebook posts.  I know if someone really needs me they will actually call the phone, and I will hear it ring.  If not, I have a scheduled time of day to sit down and do computer type stuff.  Except pay bills.  I always seem to forget that one!

These are just a few things that I have been trying, and that have been helping me to tame the chaos of life and stay far, (far!) away from the edge.

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