Or worse than that, do you ever flip ahead in your calendar only to find nearly every weekend and evening is already accounted for, for weeks on end?
Or even still, do you find your summer filled up with commitments before spring has even arrived?
For the past year, my life has become increasingly 'Full'. And with my 26th birthday only a week away, I've come to terms with this as simply being a matter of adulthood, a fact of life. Especially a fact of a successful, happy, purpose-filled life.
That being said, it is too easy to be swept away as the pages of your day planner fill up and flip bye. Too easy to find yourself exhausted, dazed and confused, unsatisfied on Friday night, wondering where your week has gone.
Image from A Bowl Full of Lemons, who ran a photo a day in Sept on day planners!
1) Schedule Everything. If you don't have a day planner in your purse, a week planner on your desk and a monthly calendar in your kitchen, you're doing it wrong. Oh and if you're like me, google calendar is always open in your browser and constantly in sync with your phone. Set aside a half hour or so at the beginning of every week to populate and sync up those calendars or you will miss things.
2) Schedule Everything! That's right, include your workouts, date nights, shopping sprees with the girls in your calendar. And make them non negotiable, no it's not okay to cancel a dinner date with the boy because a last minute tutoring appointment came up.
3) Let yourself be lazy sometimes. If you are simply too exhausted too wake up that extra 2 hours early so you can hit the gym before work. Hit snooze and skip it. Guilt free. (that's the real trick, try not to let the guilt drag you down the rest of the day, or the snooze won't have been worth it). It's ok to do this every now and then. But don't make it a habit!
4) Leave some blank space. In general, try not to book up every minute of every day. In specific, I like to leave half an hour (minimum) in between tasks and appointments. I try to keep one evening a week totally blank. And one weekend a month with nothing major planned. You need free time, either to do all the little odds and ends things, to casually clean your home, or even just to watch half a season of Archer on Netflix while knitting. Savour the down time, protect it, because it is rare and beautiful.
5) Reflect on your accomplishments. Any time you wonder if being busy all the time is worth it, flip the pages back in your calendar and revel in all the amazing stuff you've done with your time. If you're a grad student like me, be amazed at all the travelling you've done, while working on your thesis, running your Grad association, TA'ing and tutoring, blogging, knitting, cooking and training for races. Heck I even have a social life on top of that! If I didn't keep as many day planners as I do, there'd be no way I'd be half as productive!
How do you manage to juggle the one hundred million little (and big) things that make life so wonderful (and crazy)? Let me know in the comments!