These days I seem to oscillate between two mindsets. On some days I feel like I've got everything under control. Life is fun and everything seems to flow pretty easily. I'm proud of the progress I'm making and of my ability to balance my many competing priorities.
On others, life feels like a never-ending to-do list. I'm hyper-aware that everything I do represents the sacrifice of something else that remains undone. I am never fully in the moment enjoying where I am or pausing to acknowledge what I've accomplished because my mind has already jumped to the next thing, and the next, and the next.
I want to have it all. Do it all. Be it all.
I want to continue building a fun, intimate relationship with my partner. I want to grow my business to serve others while creating prosperity for myself. I want to excel at my day job. I want to spend plenty of time with my girlfriends. I want to feel vibrantly healthy, while also not feeling restricted. I want to go on lots of adventures but also have plenty alone time.
Sometimes my life can feel like a tangled web of competing priorities, but I've realized that by getting really clear on what I want and being intentional with my time, I can have it all. I just need to be realistic about what that looks like. Here are some simple strategies for doing it all while maintaining your sanity.
Narrow in on what it is you really want. It helps to divide your life into categories based on your main priorities. These might be relationships, friendships, family, health, career, and personal development. Or they might not be; that's something you need to figure out for yourself. Once you have, decide what goals or visions you have for each of those priorities. What do you want each area to look and feel like? Are there certain things you want to accomplish?
Create routines that make space for your priorities. If writing a book is on your list, block off 30 minutes per day that's just for writing. If you really want to spend more quality time with your girlfriends, create a weekly ritual of making dinner for one another. By structuring your week around your main priorities, you'll have to schedule everything else around them rather than the other way around. So you won't find days and weeks slipping by without paying attention to them.
Ask yourself: is this contributing to where I want to go and who I want to be? Is it best serving my priorities? There will always be more opportunities than there is time, so be intentional with how you spend your days. Rather than saying yes to every invite that comes your way or endlessly scrolling through Facebook, remember that this is time that could be better spent on the things that really matter to you. These questions can help keep you from getting distracted when it feels like life is rushing past you at a mile a minute.
Savour and celebrate. When you're doing something, fully commit to being there and doing it. If you find your mind wandering to your to-do list, remind yourself that you've decided to do this thing because it's important to you. Be present and really enjoy it. Similarly, when you tick something off your to-do list, allow yourself to acknowledge and celebrate this achievement.Go to bed thinking of everything you've accomplished that day, rather than getting caught up in the seemingly endless list of things left to do.
It's true that we can't be everything for everyone in every moment. Sometimes we need to accept that we need a break or that two things just don't work together. But when we get really clear on what we want our days to look like and take charge as the chief architect of our life, it's completely possible to keep a lot of balls in the air without feeling completely worn out by it - in fact it can even be a lot of fun!
How would you describe your biggest priorities? Do you have any tips for staying focused on all of them?
Love, cat eye sunglasses, & hot air balloon rides,
Photograph from Death to the Stock Photo.