So many of us feel pulled in a million different directions daily. There are household tasks, bills to pay, kids that need stuff, spouses that need stuff, places we need to go, more things we need to buy and then we’re expected to be in fabulous shape AND have a perfectly pristine home…….life can be utterly exhausting.

As a wife and mom in my forties, I wish I could travel back in time to my thirty-year-old self and give a little advice. Here’s what it would be:

  • There IS enough time in the day to get the important stuff done.

Consider Step 1: Declutter & Sort in the One Organized System. You’ve got to look at everything that is on your to-do list and decide what is truly essential. Toss the rest. If everything is important, then nothing is important. There is enough time in the day to focus on 3 Daily household tasks, a quick tidy of your home, and the remainder of the day allocating your time between work, family and the rest. Break down your tasks in 20-minute increments and stay focused on the task at hand.

  • Budget your time like you budget your money.

Time is the MOST precious resource we have. It is limited, we cannot create more, we have no control over it, and we have no idea how much we are given. (Kind of a depressing thought, right?) So use it wisely and don’t waste it on people, activities or events that do not move you toward your goals. When in doubt, ask yourself this one simple question, “Is what I’m doing at this moment moving me toward my goals?” You wouldn’t waste your money on a person you don’t like or a place you don’t like. So, don’t waste your time on them either.

  • Life will show you where you need to prioritize. 

Life has a funny way of showing you where you’re out of whack. You may start to notice how you and your spouse are continually bickering because you haven’t had a date night in months. Or perhaps you notice it’s just more comfortable to wear yoga pants instead of stuffing yourself into a pair of skinny jeans. Past due fees on several bills means you likely haven’t been keeping on top of your finances. Life will show you where you need to prioritize. Stop and take notice. Take a deep breath, assess all areas of your life, and make time to reprioritize the stuff that needs to get done.

  • No drama mama. 

In my forty plus years on this earth one thing I’ve learned…..the drama never ends. Whether it’s media hype, neighborhood gossip, politics, or even at church!! Drama steals your time. If you know me personally, you know I am loud and proud and convicted in my beliefs. Unfortunately, so is the rest of society. (You know what they say about opinions….?) I have learned that unless I personally witness an injustice, then it’s best to keep my mouth shut and my fingers away from any keyboards. I freely admit to watching any drama unfold but instead of ridiculous “real-life” drama give me a remote, my couch, 1-2 hours, and I am in reality tv heaven. All other drama related people are not worth your time.

  • It’s okay to make “Me Time” a priority.

This is something that afflicts a lot of us. We feel “guilty” if we do anything for our own self.  No one canonized us into sainthood, so we need to step down from our crosses and carve out time for ME. Tell the spouse and kiddos, “Hey! This is MY time.” Trust me they’ll thank you for it when they don’t see zombie-wife-mom just moving through the motions of life. You are no good to anyone unless you take care of yourself. I KNOW you’ve heard that before so take it seriously.

  • Don’t play the comparison game.

Ever wonder why blinders are placed on racehorses? It’s because horses use their peripheral vision to keep them safe from predators. So, when a horse is racing it’s crucial to keep them on track and focused.  The blinders make it difficult for them to see what’s going on around them on the track. What if we had “blinders” to keep our vision on track?  Imagine not focusing on what others were doing and turned that attention to what we are doing or should be doing. This comparison game is worse than ever thanks to social media and the barrage of messages we get from media sources. Maybe your focus is trying to impress others with your fabulous home, marriage, kids, life or stalking that person on social media who seems to have the “perfect” of everything. Perfection is an illusion, and this constant comparison we all do is merely a fool’s game. So don’t play.  With a little discipline create your blinders and focus on what your purpose is in this world, set some goals, and spend your time working toward those goals.

Ultimately, life is about balance. Someone once said life is similar to a box of chocolates, well I see life more like a Ferris wheel with many different buckets on continuous rotation. It’s important to give attention to each of those buckets to keep the balance.

Follow my Time Management series in August on how to manage and keep those time buckets balanced in your life. Being organized is more about how you spend your time rather than pretty little containers.

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