Are you shattered? Do you yawn a lot? Have you perfected the art of napping with your eyes open while sitting at your desk?
Like many people, I find myself with not enough time and too many things to do. I spend my days ticking jobs off the ever increasing task list. The truth is, I know my life is too short for me to complete everything on my list but that doesn’t stop me aiming for completion, after all, I’m an ambitious powerhouse. If you’re like me then you may benefit from checking out my handy pointers. Reclaim your time. Time is a precious commodity, spend it wisely. I know we all have responsibilities but try and sift out the genuine time consumers from the ones that just consume you.
Stop making an effort with those who don’t reciprocate
I’ll term these people ‘lifeblood drainers.’ We all know someone like this. This person quite happily takes every opportunity to accept your help but when you need help, all you hear is tumbleweed. Why? Because they’re gone. All that is left is a puff of smoke where they were standing. They won’t answer your immediate calls, emails, Facebook messages etc, but ……. when they need you, they’ll be back. Be wary of the lifeblood drainer, they will drain yours to the point of exhaustion. Rid your life of them today and feel your zest for life return. Besides, they’re not real friends.
‘If you want something done, ask a busy person,’ – quote by Benjamin Franklin.
He wasn’t wrong with that quote. People know they can rely on you to get things done. After all, you plan your time brilliantly and they can see that. You’re efficient, obliging and always provide service with a smile. That’s right, I said service. They fail to see you as a friend anymore, you’re an efficient and free of charge service provider. ‘Pick my kids up, walk my dog, grab me some bread and pop to Devon while you’re at it, I fancy a cream tea.’ They know you won’t fail to complete the task or refuse their demand. They may occasionally reciprocate but you wouldn’t ask. You’d walk your own dog or go to the shops and fetch your own bread.
Allow this to happen too many times and you’ll feel like the biggest doormat going. Say no. That two letter word is your only escape. Once you’ve said it a couple of times, they’ll stop asking. These manipulative snakes know you struggle with the word no and they’re taking advantage of your good nature. They don’t care that you run around doing errands for everyone else. Why should they? Their life is easy because they have their own free-of-charge slave.
One way of assessing whether a ‘no’ is fair would be the ‘can do’ test. Can they physically do it themselves? If you answer yes to this, let them do it otherwise you’re perpetuating their bad behaviour. Take control of your time and turn your back on such requests. Don’t be a doormat. Once you attract one happy time-user, more will follow. Stop now before it’s too late.
Cut back on social media
You don’t have to keep up to date with every post on Facebook. Does it matter if you miss the following:
Sophie’s dog has been sick today.
Jane’s kid won the three legged race at school sports day.
Will has just had a burger and posted the picture.
Liam is raising money for the orphaned rat charity fund.
FarmVille! Candy Crush! Bubble Witch Saga! …. and so on.
None of that is important. Have a look when you’ve got five minutes but the importance of keeping up with every minute life detail of people you barely know is ridiculous. Again, it’s draining you of your most precious resource, the only currency that matters when it comes to life; your time. Do you want to waste your time reading about the menial everyday banalities of people’s lives? Do you want to constantly scroll through posts like a deranged version of the road runner? This behaviour will send your blood pressure soaring ….. and relax.
Those who seek perfection will be regularly disappointed. Does it matter if the backs of your cupboards are perfectly arranged with the labels facing forward? Do you think your baby or children should look immaculate every minute of the day? Are you scared of missing a beat in your perfectly laid out schedule? Chill, the world won’t end if your child is wearing a dress with grass stain on the back, or your house hides a few piles of clutter, or you miss a self made deadline. You’re human, act like you are. We’re not perfect. The notion of perfection will only boil your mind and send you into fatigue hell. Ask yourself who’s making these unreasonable demands. It’s probably only yourself. Give yourself a break, make a cuppa and smell the roses in the garden. If people dare criticise you for these trivialities, then they’re the ones with the problem. You don’t need these people in your life, they are controllers and will make your life a misery. If they persist, cut them out of your life.
Allocate a time slot for certain tasks. This will enable you to spend less time worrying about said tasks as you’ll know when you are going to get them done. Don’t be afraid to enlist help from friends, family and your children. You know you’re the type of person who appreciates them and will return the favour one day. You’re not a lifeblood drainer.
Get out and enjoy some fresh air. A walk can be medicinal and give you time to reflect on what and who really matters. Make time for your own interests. You are important and you need some of your time for you. This is not being selfish this is being healthy. Take that long bath, enrol on that art class that you’ve fancied for years, treat yourself to the biggest hot chocolate going and sit outside a coffee shop watching the world pass you by. You’ll soon recharge.
Find a way, please. Whether it’s comedy you enjoy or going out with a friend or watching a mood enhancing film like Singing in the Rain. Laughter is euphoric and medicinal. It’s the elixir of life.
Cut back on sugary and fatty foods
As someone who is run ragged, you’ll probably find that you’re left with very little time for food preparation. You deserve your five a day and that hearty homemade soup. What you probably get is chocolate and crisps snatched between tasks, and chips on the way home – late at night. You’re worth more. Chips are a great treat but if you have takeaways every other day, you’ll feel sluggish and down. Eating properly and drinking water is the way to go. See yourself as someone who deserves your time. That person, you, are precious too and you need to look after her/him. Treat her/him to a decent hearty meal now and again.
Anyway, I hope I’ve help you to reclaim some of your time. I see the errors but still remain fatigued. Like many of us, I’m stuck in busy-land and can’t escape. I don’t think there’s any hope left. Ahhhh …. escape quickly …… before you lose your sanity like me! Please feel free to add your own pointers below.
Facebook: Carla Kovach Author