One of my favorite organizing blogs I Heart Organizing is challenging her readers to finally get organized in their lives, instead of putting it off…again! Each week for four weeks, she is focusing on ONE area of organization in our lives that will make a big impact, but that we have likely been putting off. And she wisely is starting with a more internal organizing challenge: time management. This is the one that almost everyone struggles with. And I am no exception! And though I am not really planning on working through her printable Time Management worksheets – not because they are not useful, but because I have already done them in the past and know what I should be doing with my time; I am planning on getting back on track with what I have already been feeling convicted lately of concerning my time.
A few weeks ago, I went to a conference (blog/business related) and the most major takeaway for me was this statement:
STOP CHASING BALANCE, START BEING PRESENT
That was truly an eye-opening sentence and it immediately gave me a mental picture that I have been carrying with me on a daily basis since. It is that of a teeter-totter (a see-saw, if you are from another generation/geographical location). And it impressed on me that I am constantly trying to balance all the things I have to get “done” with living life with joy and taking it all in as it flies by!
I want to be the wife that dates her husband and puts his needs above my own and the needs of others.
I want to be the present and involved mom that doesn’t put my daughters off.
I want to be the Bible study teacher that is involved in her students lives and has time to spend outside of class in prayer and in fellowship.
I want to be the friend that doesn’t count a Facebook status update as “good enough.”
And still there are all these things, all related to the priorities I have in my life, that just simply must get done: cleaning, laundry, bath-taking, date night, Bible study, etc. And that doesn’t even begin to point out that somewhere in there I would like to do what I like to do (Starbucks runs, a pedicure, a massage, completing a puzzle, reading, etc.).
But as I look at all these things I must do, I realize that if I am doing them only half-way; I will not be enjoying life. Instead I will be gutting it out from task to task and will miss the BIG moments and the little moments – especially the ones that happen to the littlest ones in my life. I won’t be present.
So, I am taking this “Wait-No-More” challenge to remind myself that my time is precious and I must be present in my time. And, for me, that means saying NO to a number of things that are just time-wasting, presence-sucking things. Here’s what I am saying adios to this week, this month, and for the rest of the year:
Games on Facebook
I will admit that I said good-bye to these games at the beginning of the year. I signed off of Candy Crush Soda for the last time and took all the notifications off of my account. …And then I got pregnant and lost all my energy except for the energy it takes to sit and play games on Facebook. Well, I am through the first trimester and have some of my energy back, so I signed off (again!) for the last time (again!). But this time I have an accountability system in place. And what I will get because I have said, “No” to these games is the freedom to be present when my daughters come up to me and ask me to read a book, or do a puzzle, or simply cuddle.
Jimmy Fallon and Red Eye
Late night TV watching is really a bad habit for me because it steals time away from what I need most in life in order to be present in the day: SLEEP! I actually don’t watch a lot of Fallon and Red Eye, but I do watch a lot of documentaries on Netflix. I enjoy it, but if I am going to manage my time wisely, I need to set a limit on the time of day I will watch them. I am going to try to reinstate my 11 PM bedtime in the next few weeks and months…you know before the baby comes and messes up my time schedule all over again!
The Snooze Button
I am notorious, no-tor-ious for being a “just five more minutes” gal. But part of my need for time management organizing is my need to USE what time I do have. As my loyal readers know, I wake up pretty early every morning. And my first trimester was definitely a time where I pushed the snooze button a little too many times (bothering my husband, I know) or turned off the alarm altogether, rolled back over, and snoozed in earnest. I am going to have try to turn my “five more minutes” self into an “up and at ’em” persona that I know will help me to manage my time better. The earlier I can get started on what is important to me (Bible study in the morning), the quicker I can get to the other things life has for me.
My computer during the day
Since I am a “blogger,” there are a lot of things I need to do on a computer related to social media, writing, editing, etc. And I want to write a book this summer. So, there is a BIG temptation and what has become a BIG BAD habit of spending much of my morning on the computer while my girls run around the house and play. I get a few minutes in here and there, while I mediate arguments or stop to read a book. And what ends up happening is the most common phrase heard in my house is, “Can you wait just a moment, sweet girl?” At this point, I hear it more than “MINE!” – not good for the mother of a 4 year-old and a 2 year-old.
18 windows open on my computer when I am working
Um…yeah. This is major for me. I LOVE a good distraction. So I am challenging myself to not try to do online shopping, check social media, and read other blogs while I am trying to write for this one. Closing all the windows I do not need is really going to help me be present when I am working, so I can get more done with the little time I have.
Just so you know, there are many benefits to saying good-bye to these things. It is because there are so many of benefits, that it is actually easier to bid adieu. And the biggest one is PRESENCE.
Have you been struggling with presence in your day-to-day? Are there some things you need to say good-bye to in order to be more present in your own life? I would love to hear from you!