Being a wife and a mom with a full time job and co-owner of two businesses, there always feels like there is never enough time. Time is one of the things that can be a benefit but also a hindrance. I often wonder do I try to get it all done but know that is not realistic or do I just make as better plan. There are times that I know I need to get it all done, but only I can choose those moments. When I try to get it all done, it never works out right because something has to give. I have learned over the last year to better judge my time and make better plans. I am working on being more realistic in my expectations of myself. I am the only one that creates the chaos.
One of the first things that Jon and I do on a Sunday is plan out the coming week. We look at what the kids schedules are, what the companies plans are as well as any other unique things for the week. We then write out a list with the highest value which is where we start. We often use the phrase: " the task that is closest to the alligator". This came true when had two major coffee orders to fill. We then divide up the requirements in hope to be successful for the week. We are often over-planned but are working on narrowing this done to the most immediate. The number one rule that we often forget is to plan for what we value the most. It seems silly but gardening and doing yard work and being outside are one of my favorite things to do. I have learned to plan that into my week, so that it doesn't get left out. It also allows me the time to be doing something I enjoy. On my walks I have learned to focus on nature and all the joys, not just the list in my head. This rock is shaped like a heart near our house and roastery.
I also have gone back to a paper calendar. There is something to be said about writing it out with the times included. I used to make a list that was a mile high and never reach the bottom of the list. I would end feeling discouraged because I hadn't taken the time into affect, just for that day. The anxiety would creep in and then I would freeze and not move forward. Once I started planning times and when I am most productive the list didn't seem so daunting. It also allowed me to not beat myself up if I had to move things around. I would then move things around based on the closest item to the alligator or the higher value.
In fact, time anxiety shows itself in multiple ways. Here are a few examples:
Daily time anxiety: This is the feeling of never having enough time in your day. You feel rushed. Stressed. Overwhelmed.
Future time anxiety: These are the ‘What ifs?’ that ravage your brain. You feel paralyzed thinking through everything that may or may not happen in the future depending on your actions today.
Existential time anxiety: This is the overall anxiety of only have a limited time to live your life. No matter how much you race ahead or push forward, there’s only one finish line.
The time anxiety still creeps up on any given day or moment. I try to adjust and figure out which it is. Once I go back to the plan, prioritize, value, and focus on what needs to come first, the anxiety will subside.
These two practices have helped me plan time for the companies, my school day, as well as, being a better spouse and mom. The time factor will never go away but I can better plan. We as a family have also learned to divvy up jobs, responsibilities, and also finding more time to work together including family time. When we are all working on the same plan, everyone gets their needs met and there is way more laughter.
When all else fails, remember this…
You have the same amount of time in a day as every other person! It’s not about having enough time, it’s about how you prioritize your time! And if you are using the excuse that there isn’t enough time so that you don’t have to do something, it’s okay. We have all done that at one point or another. But if it does matter to you, you’ll find a way to make it happen!