Put Your Life on a Diet!
Are you too busy?
Are you always "ahead of yourself"?--Thinking about the next thing "to do" on your list? Do you feel disappointed in yourself because you haven't accomplished as much as you thought you should on a day to day basis? Are you exhausted at the end of your day?
If you answered yes to most of these questions, join the club! Everyday life in 2012 is a mad dash. Between preparing meals, cleaning up, laundry, shopping, maintaining a household, driving to and from work, working, driving kids to and from activities, helping with homework (in my day, I never would have even thought to ask my parents for homework help), bed time, putting away laundry, ironing clothes for the next day: most adults fall into bed dead to the world! This list just covers day to day tasks. What about lawn care, house care, car care, financial care, or elder care? It can just seem like there is too much to do, and not enough time to do it.
No wonder this list doesn't include regular exercise, daily spirituality, home cooked meals (as opposed to take-out pizza, fast food, or processed food), and quiet time. What about reading? Or just time to do nothing (my favorite hobby)?
Weekends are often no better and sometimes worse. On Saturday and Sunday, adults have every minute scheduled. Kid’s sports games and activities can fill every crack and crevice of weekend days. Each person's "to do" list spans the Puget Sound. And, unfortunately, work tends to seep into weekend time, as employers expect more and more from employees, especially during these difficult economic times.
Despite all of our timesaving technology (I still do think the dishwasher is the best invention since apple pie), it doesn't seem like we have saved much time for ourselves. Our life is like a speeding train that just keeps picking up speed until it runs out of gas...at about 9 p.m.! But we still have two hours of laundry and dishes ahead of us! Help!
Recently, my wife and I took a tour of our garage and several closets. Somehow, despite our best efforts, our garage (and some closets) became a breeding ground for disorder and detritus.
So, we decided to put our house on a diet!
Time to get rid of anything we haven't touched in a year. Time to cut back on anything that isn't really important. After a day, knee deep in junk, I felt like I lost 50lbs!
So why not put your life on a diet?
Keep a diary of everything you do in an average day and week. (It's kind of like keeping a food diary--very helpful for losing weight.) What is essential? Is there any excess that you can shed? Are there some tasks that you can delegate to others? How can you pare down your list? What about any inefficiency? What is necessary? What is just desirable, but not essential? Be realistic about what you can actually accomplish. Just like dieting, some adults expect to lose more weight than is really reasonable. Then they are disappointed in themselves. Most daily "to do" lists are unrealistic. Cut it back by 20% and it will probably be possible to complete.
Take care of yourself and remember to smell the roses. Stop, breathe, look, listen, and take in the beauty of everyday life, even when you are zooming around. Savor as many moments as you can. Live this moment. Let the next moment take care of itself.
Do you have any life-dieting tips to share with others? Let’s hear about them!