Have you ever heard the quote by Lucille Ball, “ If you want something done, ask a busy person to do it. The more things you do, the more you can do.
Oh, how I relate to this quote!
I am a busy person. I cannot sit still. If I sit on my couch to watch a movie, it is a guarantee I will fall asleep. I love being on the move going somewhere, meeting someone, and doing something. My husband’s nickname for me is “Lucy” as in Lucille Ball. I often get these great ideas that will end in either an epic failure or miraculous success. There seems to be no in between, and there’s always some crazy situation I find myself in along the way.
For example, after I had my first child, I was looking for a way to get back into shape and have a little time to myself. So I decided I was going to take a ballet class. (Let me emphasize I WAS an actual full grown adult when I did this.) I found a dance studio that offered many options for adult classes. I walked into the studio, signed up, and paid my tuition. When asked which class I’d like to take I stated with a confident nod “intermediate.”
Now, I have to tell you that I DID take ballet until I was about 16 or 17 years old but I wasn’t that good. In fact, I never even made it to pointe. At that moment I felt like I was beyond a “beginner” since I at least knew the basic steps. She gave me a class time, and I showed up. I walked into that class, looked around and felt a slight twinge of instant regret as these looked like some pretty advanced dancers, BUT I had already paid for a babysitter and was willing to give this a go. The class began, and I did my best to keep up during the warm-up. Although the warm-up was more like a heat up and I was drenched in sweat after 15 minutes. The instructor noticed that I was struggling to keep up and would try and show me the correct form. Then it came time to dance across the floor (yes this is how long I stuck it out). She showed us a combination of steps that we needed to perform and each take a turn dancing across the floor solo. (Cringe-worthy, isn’t it?) Again, I had paid for that babysitter, and I wasn’t stopping now. I flung and awkwardly twirled my not-so-lithe body through yet another dance sequence that was way beyond my abilities. It’s kind of sad to say but I had no idea how bad I was at that moment. I thought I was doing okay until I felt a tap on my shoulder and a very kind woman motioned me out of the room. She simply said, “This class is too advanced for you. Let’s place you in an easier level.” Imagine that. I was so bad that I had caught the attention of someone from another room.
So I joined that beginner’s class and had a great time doing it! That class was still beyond my abilities, but they were much more understanding and willing to teach me the basics. I connected with a few of the ladies in the class and had a new hobby that I looked forward to.
Looking back I realize that was my way of giving some attention to a few areas of my life that needed it: my physical health, social time with adults, and a hobby that I loved.
So, you can see why my husband will say, “Ohhhh Luuuucy!” after each one of my epic adventures.
I believe that life is about finding new experiences for growth and balance. I indeed grew from that experience.
As humans we each have the same basic needs that fall into what I call buckets:
Each bucket requires time and attention throughout your life. They may have different contents depending on your age and stage of life, but the buckets will always remain the same.
Also, you cannot ignore a bucket for very long. If you do, then life has a way of forcing you to pay attention to it.
Truth be told, I took that dance class out of desperation to fight loneliness and feeling out of shape. At the time I was a military wife and stay at home mom who was alone a lot. Thankfully, that inherent desire to keep things moving compelled me to do something and that class did the trick. (The beginners one, not the other one that I made an ass of myself in.)
Those lonely feelings were life’s way of showing me I had a couple of empty buckets that needed to be filled.
I also believe that giving time to all areas of your life is the foundation of being organized.
If your life is out of balance, it will manifest itself in physical clutter and overall chaos.
So, how do you find time in the day to manage it all?
Here are a few things I’ve learned over the years:
• Plan Your Day. Whether it’s the first thing in the morning or the night before it is essential to plan out your day. There will be apparent things you must do so write those down. Then try and prioritize each bucket into your day even if it means giving a few minutes to each. A five-minute walk around the block is better than doing nothing for your physical/health.
• Prioritize. There will be some buckets that are easier for you than others. There will be some that need more attention than others. Prioritize and then re-prioritize on a daily or weekly basis.
• Use A Timer. I am a huge fan of using a timer. Assigning anywhere from 5-20 minutes per bucket is a great way to get started and stay on task. I hate the excuse, “I don’t have time.” Then MAKE the time. There are seven buckets. If you spent 20 minutes on each bucket that is 2 hours and 20 minutes of your day. You can find that in your day and if you can’t then turn off the tv and put your phone down.
• Get Your Family On Board. Or your friends. Success is more attainable if you have the support of others.
• K-I-S-S. Keep it simple silly! Don’t over-analyze or over complicate this system. For your Home Bucket, you can spend 20 minutes straightening up. 30 minutes to spend on your Family Bucket doing a fun activity. Opening your mail and organizing your bills for payday fills that Financial Bucket. Just spend time on each bucket daily, and you will begin to see progress.
My August Time Management series is designed to walk you through the steps of taking those buckets and implementing them into your daily routine.
The exercises are simple and straightforward. Most importantly they work.
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Stay tuned to my blog for more on Time Buckets and from the bottom of my heart, thank you for reading!!