If you are anything like me, you often find yourself lamenting the idea that there is never enough time in your day/week/month/year/life to get everything done you want or need to get done. Between a full-time job, spending time with your spouse and children, training for your next race, writing for your blog, getting together with friends, and fixing things around the house, there is barely enough time to fit in everything else you want and/or need to do (like eating and sleeping). The more time that goes by, the more things pile up on your list, and the more stressed you become. Before you know it you find yourself balled up in the fetal position in a corner somewhere, just wishing it would all go away.
Ok, maybe the fetal position thing is just my way of dealing with it. The truth is, however, that the perception that we do not have enough time in our lives is one of our greatest causes of stress…and is a very difficult one from which to escape. No matter how many attempts we make at prioritizing our lists (which also takes time) and axing those activities that can be axed, before long we find ourselves full circle and right back to where we started. So what is the solution? How do we maintain our sanity while at the same time satisfying the time requirements of everything that is pulling at us night and day?
Tomorrow Will Worry About Itself
The first thing to remember is that the only thing we really have control over is the here and now. As Mother Teresa once said:
“Yesterday is gone. Tomorrow has not yet come. We have only today. Let us begin.”
While we can try our best to plan for tomorrow, there is no way to know for sure that what we plan will come to fruition. What we have much better control over, however, is today. Focus on what you can get done today, and try not to put things off until tomorrow…especially easy tasks that, if you put your mind to it, could easily be completed. Try to make each today as fruitful and productive as possible, so that each tomorrow becomes just a small measure easier to manage.
“You may delay, but time will not.” ― Benjamin Franklin
Procrastination is a killer. In just trying to sit down and write this, I have procrastinated by watching TV, tweeting, posting to Facebook, and taking multiple trips to and from the kitchen. A huge reason we believe we do not have enough time is because we waste so much of it putting off the things we know we have to do but simply do not want to do. Take a moment and think about how much time you spend engaged in time-wasting activities. Do not take too long, however; time spent thinking about time wasted is even more time wasted. Just remember this:
Appreciate The Moment You Are In
The truth is, there are just some days that you cannot get things done. Another truth? Your to-do list will always be there. Even as your cross “do laundry” off your list, you must realize that the clothes you are wearing will soon be in the hamper, placing “do laundry” right back on that same list. The cycle never ends. So just do your best to appreciate the moments you find yourself in, even if you think your time is better spent working on that to-do list. Sure, you could be fixing that squeaky bedroom door; but isn’t time spent reading a book to your son or having a tea party with your daughter much more important?
At the end of the day, you will not look back and remember what hinges you greased or what weeds you plucked. Instead, you will remember the smiles that were had and the laughter that filled your heart.