Like most people, when I start my work day my first instinct is to check my email. I tell myself I’m checking for anything urgent that came in last night that may need immediate attention. However, this can very quickly lead me down a rabbit hole of replying to all my emails and soon I’ve lost control of my morning. Was that really the best use of time? What happened to my goals and my to-do list for the day? How did I get so busy?
I know I’m not the only woman who struggles with finding balance between reacting to other people’s needs and carving out time for my own. If you enjoy helping others and are a little bit of a workaholic (it’s ok – admit it!), the busyness can definitely trick you into thinking your schedule is maxed out. And it’s overwhelming. Unfortunately it’s true – ask any working woman you know how she’s doing and she’ll tell you: “Busy!”.
The good news is you can help yourself take back your day and allow yourself to enjoy nights and weekends (remember those?). Here are some ways to take care of business while limiting busyness:
Start each day intentionally
Instead of getting swept up right away in whatever gets thrown at you, take 5-10 minutes to plan your work day. Take a few deep breaths or meditate to clear your mind. Make a cup of coffee or tea and settle in. Make a list of any deadlines and anything else you need or want to do like run an errand, pay a bill, or make a phone call. Check your calendar and adjust and block out as necessary to include your own reminders or tasks. Try to stick to your plan and have others respect your time, or you will forever be moving your needs to “tomorrow”.
Limit social media (or use it with purpose)
We all spend more time on social media than we care to admit. Did you know that it’s such a problem that there are multiple apps that exist to help you track and reduce your usage? I recently tried it and was shocked to learn I picked up my phone 40 times a day and spent 2 hours in apps. Yikes. You don’t have to quit completely, but think about why you are using it if you are mindlessly scrolling feeds. You can efficiently post your page’s content (even using the help of auto-schedulers during a scheduled time block on your calendar!), check notifications, and move on.
Schedule leisure time
Why has it become such a status symbol to be busy? It feeds our ego to think we are so important that no one else can do what we do. But without proper rest, your mind and body will not be at 100% and will eventually result in health problems you can’t ignore. And if you think you don’t have time to take care of yourself, well you don’t have time to be sick either! Take a break for dinner. Have conversation with your family. Get outside and walk your dog. Take a bath. Enjoy a hobby that allows you to create something just for fun and just for you, not related to your job.
Take the damn vacation
How many times have you delayed taking a vacation because work is just “too busy”? The truth is, there will always be work to do. Take the trip! Getting out of your regular routine and going somewhere new can provide a refresh for your busy brain and allow inspiration from unexpected places to come in and turn into creative new ideas. It’s like shower or car thoughts, but better! If a week long exotic destination isn’t in the budget or doesn’t fit in your work calendar, then consider a weekend or day trip. Sometimes a nice date night or drinks with your girlfriends is all you need to reconnect with yourself and the people that matter most to you.
If you’re feeling overworked, I encourage you to take a look at what is making you busy. You’ll always have 24 hours in a day, but planning and protecting your time will help you stay in control for a more productive and balanced life.
Digital Marketing Magician / Project Management Superstar
Our resident boss organizer, Andrea loves translating messy info into simple action plans. Her calming presence and strategic mind will reduce your marketing stress and make the project flow process actually enjoyable (gasp!).