Wednesday, September 26, 2007

QUOTE: Making Time

I think the following essay strikes a chord with all of us parents:

The Time You Find
Simplifying Your Schedule

For many, life is a hodgepodge of never-ending commitments. Yet few
of us can be truly healthy or happy without regular periods of
downtime. While there is nothing inherently wrong with busyness,
those of us who over-commit or over-extend ourselves potentially
face exhaustion and burnout. When you feel overwhelmed by your
commitments, examining your motivation for taking on so many
obligations can help you understand why you feel compelled to do so
much. You may discover that you are being driven by fear that no one
else will do the job or guilt that you aren't doing enough. To
regain your equilibrium and clear the clutter from your calendar,
simplify your life by establishing limits regarding what you will
and will not do based on your personal priorities.

Determining where your priorities lie can be as easy as making two
lists: one that outlines all those obligations that are vital to
your wellbeing, such as work, meditation, and exercise, and another
that describes everything you do that is not directly related to
your wellbeing. Although there will likely be items in the latter
list that excite your passion or bring you joy, you may discover
that you devote a large portion of your time to unnecessary
activities. To simplify your schedule, consider which of these
unnecessary activities add little value to your life and edit them
from your agenda. Remember that you may need to ask for help, say no
firmly, or delegate responsibility in order to distance yourself
from such encumbrances. However, as you divest yourself of non-vital
obligations that cause you stress, serve no purpose, or rob you of
opportunities to refresh yourself, you will feel more energetic and
enthusiastic about life in general.

If simplifying your schedule seems prohibitively difficult and you
still feel pressed to take on more, try imagining how each new
commitment will impact your life before saying yes. When you
consider the hassle associated with superfluous obligations, you may
be surprised to see that your schedule is impeding your attempts to
grow as an individual. Your willingness to pare down your agenda, no
matter how gradual your progress, will empower you to retake active
control of the life that defines you.

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