Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Downsize your “To Do”!

For me, September always seems like the busiest month of the year. This year is no different, and in fact it feels busier than ever. Adjusting to new schedules, schools and activities, as well as the end of the summer celebrations and picnics takes mental and physical energy. With the addition of Megan Ling to our family, we seem to have so much more to remember and prepare for. She now has preschool and 4 different types of therapies so we have lots of appointments. Also, I have started back to work, organizing clients again, so life is very busy. My spare minutes for tasks like tip writing (or really any activity that needs devoted attention time) are so limited. Plus, I acquired an additional cat (this makes a total of 3 in my house), as I offered a temporary home to kitten in need.

My expectations are constantly challenged due to all of the demands on my time. I know that many of you can relate to this and are in the same position; although your “To Do” list may have different items on it.

So my tip for this month is that it’s okay if you allow yourself to make a choice to let some things go for the time being, to avoid overload. For the last several years I have been practicing the skill of simplifying my expectations and obligations. Dropping obligations means to really examine the types of things you are filling your schedule up with. If you look at them honestly, you may find that the activities you have filled your time up with are not really filling your heart with gladness and joy. If you find you are dreading going to something or dragging kids with you to these activities, it may be time to explore their place in your life.

Parents are often surprised to hear me say that children DO NOT have to participate in outside activities in order to be happy and successful. In fact, running kids around to too many activities can interfere with their ability to find ways to entertain themselves and get along with others. Many kids benefit from unstructured time to explore their own interests and friends (along with a healthy limit on media time). John Rosemond’s books can provide lot of further reading ideas and information on this topic.

Having lots of ideas and goals is terrific and can be very motivating. However, if you consistently find that you are falling short of your goals and feeling behind. It may be time to reevaluate, downsize.

I have several home projects and activities that I would love to accomplish, and there are numerous outside committees and groups I could give input to. But right now I know that is not and cannot be my priority. I realize that this is not the time, and so I have let go of the pressure on myself, which feels a lot better.

You can do it, too.

If you need help with organizing, simply call Linda.

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