How to fit “everything” in (hint… DON’T!)

How to fit “everything” in (hint… DON’T!)

Someone posted this question on our facebook page: 

Hey moms! How do you handle fitting “everything” in?! I’m not keeping up with cleaning the house. I’m crazed with school work. And I’m trying to get my nail wrap business running and I’m struggling to figure out how to fit it all in. Anyone else go through this?!!! I’m sure everyone….but, tips?

Here is my response:

1. Adopt a new value. The value of doing LESS not more. Sometimes we get so addicted to the business of life that we don’t know how to slow down. If your worth comes from being busy try on this new value and see how it feels. Even it it is uncomfortable at first to do less (for example, don’t clean the house and instead take a nap) do it anyway.

2. Observe in your life what flows. What experiences give you flow? Flow can be loosely defined as complete absorption and immersion in an activity you are actively participating in, usually something that is challenging and stretching your own skills. What gives you a sense of flow? Is it painting, reading a difficult book, cooking a new recipe, playing your favorite sport? Take mental note of the activities that give you flow, and consciously aim to do more of them. Notice how when you are in flow you are not feeling “crazed.” You are calm and happy.

3. Transform routine tasks. Nearly all of us have routine daily tasks that most of us would consider boring or tedious–such as brushing your teeth, washing the dishes, doing the laundry or commuting to work. Find a way to create microflow within these seemingly mundane activities that will keep your mind thoroughly engaged in the moment instead of shutting off to “screensaver mode” or going over your mental and endless todo list. For example, you could solve puzzles in your head, draw cartoon characters, tap melodies to favorite songs, or compose funny limericks.

4. Practice smart leisure. What do you do in your leisure time? Do you do something that engages your talents and skills, or do you simply veg out in front of the computer checking Facebook or watching TV? Though we all need some time to veg out after a long day of work, the vegging out time can perhaps be done in forty-five minutes or less. Use your limited leisure time to explore new possibilities in your life, educationally enrich yourself, pursue a hobby–essentially something that truly makes your leisure time worth it.

5. Do smart work. How do you see your job? Do you see it simply as a means to an end as a way to financially support yourself? Can you imagine seeing your job as a calling or a small part of a greater whole that benefits people’s lives? Studies show that people who see their jobs as fulfilling and beneficial to many people tend to be happier than people who simply see their work as a mere job. Though you may not be in your dream job at the moment, imagine how you can view your job differently in a more positive light. How does your job help others? What important life skills is this job teaching you? How are you part of a greater whole? How can you apply a more positive attitude to your work habits and your work relationships?

6. Savor and reminisce with family and friends. Get in the habit of savoring and reminiscing life’s joys with friends and family, as life’s joys are multiplied when shared with another loved one. Take the time this week to reminisce about a positive memory with a close friend, family member and other loved ones. By vividly recreating past positive memories, you conjure abundant positive emotions–such as joy, accomplishment, amusement, contentment and pride (therefore, feeling less overwhelmed.) By extracting positive emotions from the past, you are strengthening your present relationships and creating the foundation for future positive memories as well.

7. Make a point to take pleasure in your senses. How can we become more mindful of the moment? One action step is to take pleasure in the senses more. Make a conscious point to extract pleasure from everyday pleasures, wonders and moments. Admire the flowers in the vase when you are eating breakfast. Enjoy the warmth of the afternoon sun when you are walking outdoors. Revel in the aroma of a cafe when you are enjoying a cup of coffee with a friend. In addition to enjoying the fleeting moments, you may also want to make a point to make eating more pleasurable by making it a ceremonial occasion with attractive lighting, minimal distraction and an eye-pleasing arrangement. By feeling joy in fleeting sensory pleasures, we are more rooted to the present than dwelling too much in the past or the future.

8. Create a savoring album. Begin creating an album dedicated to special memories and beautiful life moments. You can have photos of loved ones, cherished vacation spots and include personal mementos. This is so that you have something to turn to whenever you want to reminisce about a happy memory or boost your mood when you are feeling down. Keep it in a special place and make a point to look at the album only every once in a while, as seeing it every day will diminish the impact it has on your happiness.

“Doing it all” is such a juicy topic. Do you want to discuss it more with others that are struggling to keep in together? Join us on the facebook page or leave a comment below.

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