Today I am so grateful for ...
The following things that are helping me to stay on course right now. In sharing them with you, maybe they can help you, too ... which means even more gratitude for us all!
I discovered a long time ago that my average waking hours more or less break down into four 4-hour segments: 5:00-9:00 a.m. (for real), 9:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m., 1:00-5:00 p.m., and 5:00-9:00 p.m. Seemed like rather useless information at the time but, for whatever reason, I recently remembered and started playing around with how these segments might aid me. My daily "I will" lists have grown long and have a variety of intentions regarding multiple facets of my life. My day job eats up 9:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m. (and a bit more, based upon my hours) five days each week, which means that self-care, family time, my business and other people and things that are important to me have to fit into the first (rise and shine!) and fourth (*yawn*) segments Mondays through Fridays. Of course, weekends help to bring things back to some semblance of balance. But let's face it, I just can't do it all and what I can do is sometimes tricky to squeeze if it takes a lot of time and focus. By streamlining my "I will" list and assigning intentions to specific segments of the day, it increases my odds of crossing off a task as compared to when I have to pluck it from a long list. It's all about finding new ways to relax into the process.
These segments give me the structure that I crave and, like the "I will" list itself, keep me on track. But I refuse to become a slave to them. Flexibility is a must. Love must ALWAYS come first. Fun, pleasure and play should be generously incorporated into each day and given priority over all else, assuming that the world won't end. Thankfully, odds are fairly decent that they won't. I wasn't born to do-do-do or make lists just to cross things off. Immensely gratifying though that may be, it's also fodder for burnout, bitterness and resentment. That said, if a friend calls me at the last minute to meet for lunch, I need to be flexible enough to say yes. If I need a walk, a cup of tea, or a nap, I want to be able to take it without worry or remorse. Or if I find a way to make a task more enjoyable, despite the fact that doing so will also make it take longer, I hope that I'll give it a go. Fun trumps done most any day for me.
Keeping My Smartphone in My Purse or Another Room
So silly, but I discovered that my smartphone was a slow leak on my time. There should have been no big surprise there and yet, well, color me surprised. I used to keep it sitting beside me. As soon as that red LED started flashing, I would immediately check to see what message I'd received. What's more is that I'd usually respond immediately, distracting me from the task at hand. Even when the light wasn't flashing, I was still glancing. Drip-drip-drip. So I put the phone in the next room or my purse where I can still hear it if someone calls or sends a text. I'll still answer those right away or as soon as I find a good stopping point. But I know that no one expects an immediate response to an e-mail message. I do my best to keep my message-checking to once a segment and you would not believe how much time I feel like I've gained.
I am grateful that you'll consider sharing your successful tricks with me in the comments or how these tricks work out for you. We're all in this together!