Our lives are busier now than ever before and filled with amazing things, but often when we try to take advantage of them, we are left feeling overwhelmed and depleted rather than energized and well rounded. It seems like the more activities we try to immerse ourselves in the more we end up feeling like failures because we can’t seem to manage every aspect of our lives perfectly. So, how do we get off the merry-go-round, find the perfect balance and feel like we have it all without completely falling apart during our attempt to achieve our goals?
1. No man is an island
If you have a family, you should not be the only one doing chores in your home. Your kids can and should be taught to be a part of your family team as early as possible. Creating a list of chores your kids can do teaches them to be organized and handle responsibility at an early age.
2. Prepare ahead of time
Mornings are usually spent running around trying to remember where everything is and everything you have to do before you actually start your day. Anything you can prepare ahead of time will cut down on the time it takes to be ready in the morning. Check your schedule the night before, have your outfit for the day laid out and prepare as much as you can of your lunch and leave your keys and bags near the door all ready to go.
3. Outsource the work
Hire someone to clean your home, be your assistant, mow your lawn, babysit the kids, do your laundry, and anything else that you don’t have time to do, don’t enjoy doing and can afford. Micromanaging your own life doesn’t do anything but prevent you from living a full and happy life because you’re stuck doing stuff you hate doing while being kept from doing things you love. You also deserve time for yourself to replenish your energy and it’s not you being lazy or selfish, it’s you knowing that the only way to give 100 percent to someone else is to make sure you’ve taken the time to care for yourself.
4. Barter and swap
If you know someone who can perform a service that you need and you have something or can do something they want, then barter! It can work well if both parties agree it’s a fair trade. I attended wine classes thanks to bartering while another family member has bartered his services for steaks and a dollhouse over the years. You can start a car pool with friends and neighbors who also have kids and can share driving from one activity to the next. The ideas can be endless, just ask and find like-minded people.
5. Lessen the amount of choices
The brain cannot handle many choices at once. You automatically go into flight or fight. Limit the choices you have to make, whether it’s choosing between two restaurants to eat at rather than 30, what activities you and your family are participating in or which home improvement project you’ll start in on next, the more boundaries you set and stick to, the easier it is to make a decision based on your needs and wants rather than getting stuck in indecision.
It’s all about finding a happy medium, understanding that you can’t do everything all at once and knowing that no one has the perfect life, they’re just hiding the not-so-perfect parts of their lives. By eating right, exercising regularly and getting enough sleep, you’ll have more energy to get more done, but you also need to get and keep boundaries to make smarter decisions on how you spend your time. If you limit your choices and stick to tasks you enjoy doing, it’ll make life a lot easier.