5 Ways to Survive Busy Times in Life

Photo courtesy of Jon Wick and www.flickr.com.

It happens periodically.  Life at work zooms from tranquil to crazy in the matter of days.  Over the past week and all next week, my day job is exactly like that.  I’m struggling to stay afloat and to work on writing as well.

Crazy times in life happen to everyone.  If you’re a parent, the end-of-the-year activities on top of work can make you wish you could clone yourself, especially if multiple children have multiple activities on the same day in different places.  If you’re in the “sandwich generation,” then you’ve got your kids’ activities plus looking after an aging parent.  Or, if you’re in the workforce, then you have times when, like me, your day job competes with the rest of the demands in your life.

How do we cope?

Here’s some ways I’ve found that work.

  • Rest. That sounds counter intuitive, but it’s not. Take some time out from your routine. Squeeze out a full Sabbath if you can. Having some downtime will allow you to recharge your batteries and reconnect with family and friends. Also, if you busy period has an end in sight, plan some time to take a totally down day or two, or even a week if you need. That way, you can completely rest.
  • Take care of yourself. It’s tempting during excessively busy times to not get enough sleep, to have a diet that consists of fast food and other junky foods, and to not exercise. All of these can act together to make you sick and to feel blah in general so that you’re not at your best. Make sure to eat as right as you can, to get to bed at a decent hour, and to exercise when you can, even if it’s a walk around the block with your spouse and dog.
  • Make lists. When I get busy, things start to fall through the cracks. At my day job, I use Outlook’s Task Manager to keep track of what I need to do. For my writing, I need to do a better job of tracking things. During the busy times, keep a list somewhere, be it on paper, on your Smartphone, or clipped on the refrigerator. Not only can you see what you need to do, but you can also derive great satisfaction by scratching things off your list.
  • Prioritize. Face it. Sometimes, our lives get so busy that we have to prioritize our tasks. Take a look at all that has to get done and ask yourself this question: “If I don’t get X done tomorrow, will someone suffer?” Translate: “If I don’t get the cookie’s for Friday’s bake sale made by Wednesday, will the bake sale fall apart?” or “If I don’t attend the meeting, am I out of the club?” Asking yourself these questions will help you figure out what’s really important.
  • Complete what is essential. Unless you prioritize, all activities may seem essential, when really, they’re not. Keep in mind those questions above. Then, if there are activities you identify as non-essential, drop those and focus on what you need to truly do. For example, in my day job, over the past week, I knew I would be worn out from conducting all-day training. I elected to pass on a monthly meeting that night after training because I knew I would be worn out. It turns out that I was.

Keep in mind that for all of us, busy periods run in cycles.  Some are longer than others, but we do enter into a time of rest.  Until then, remember to take care of yourself, rest, prioritize, and learn what is essential.

This post does not mention any products.  Therefore, I am not receiving any compensation for writing this post.  I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR Part 255: Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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