It can be hard to recognize our own needs. Sometimes we can be so in the habit of just going through the motions and doing all of the things that we need to do on a day-to-day basis that we don't have the time or energy to think about what it is that we really want or need.
And that can end up leading to a vague feeling of boredom, or “is this all there is”? And, oftentimes, we rationalize that by thinking,
“Well, I'm just so busy right now. And as soon as (fill in the blank) is over, then things will settle down.”
Life is busy and isn't going to get less busy on its own. In fact, the opposite is likely to happen.
So if we're not very, very careful, it sneaks up on us even when we have started making progress. There's always something else to watch, or read, or listen to, or do. There's always one more distraction.
One more thing that I tell myself is as soon as I get done with it (whatever “it” happens to be at the time), then I can read or workout or spend time with a friend or have more one-on-one time with my family.
But really, how do you feel when you live your life this way? Are your days so crammed full of things to do and places to be that you aren't sure whether you're coming or going?
I hear you saying, “Jenny, I know this is an issue for me too, but what can I do? It’s just this season of life. Soon it will all calm down.” But will it? Have you told yourself this lie before? I know I sure have! And I’ve wanted so badly to believe it! I felt like I just needed to be better with time management. And I did - but it wasn’t going to solve the problem, it was only going to make it a bit better. Let’s say you have a gallon jug and each day you dump out a cup of water from it, but you add in 3 cups of water. You’re still going to have an overflowing mess even though technically you’re eliminating some of the problem.
My mom was an amazing person who was also a hoarder. And she always felt like if she just organized better or had the right storage containers it would fix the issues. As someone on the outside looking in, it was obvious that there was TOO MUCH STUFF. But she was too close to see that. As the saying goes, it’s hard to read the label from inside the bottle. And so she did what I not-so-lovingly referred to as the “shit shuffle”. She moved and sorted and generally just made a bigger mess, all while trying to hold onto a bunch of stuff that weighed her down physically, mentally, and emotionally. And it was so frustrating to watch and to experience! The time she could have spent with her family or taking care of herself was spent on things that were fruitless and aggravating. And so much of that stuff was just junk. But I’ve fallen into the same traps. Sometimes it’s with physical “stuff” but more often, it’s with my time. I want to do everything. I want to experience and listen to and read and watch soooo many things! But there is only so much time in a day, in a week, and in a life. So I have to pick and choose. And for some people maybe it’s enough to get clear on priorities and then really keep it dialed in. Then they’re able to constantly focus on what matters most. But for me? I have to check back in with myself, with my schedule, and with my spirit, regularly.
One of my biggest clues that I’ve let myself become overbooked again? I look forward to things being over instead of the actual event or experience. And that’s not how I want to live my life.
I’m not saying that every moment has to be productive or meaningful, but if you find yourself feeling like there isn’t enough time, maybe it’s time to take a hard look at your calendar. And if you don’t see a lot of things on it, but still feel like there isn’t enough time, take a closer look at your days and hours. What are you doing with your time? Sometimes it seems like we’re just checking our phones for a minute, but in reality, it’s 20 minutes. And that can add up quickly!
What really matters most to you? Does your schedule reflect that?
If you’re spending 3 hours a day on TikTok and you’re ok with that, no problem. But if you don’t have time for the things you want to be doing, then maybe you need to make some adjustments.
Simple things like this are going to be one of the biggest focuses of my upcoming membership group that will provide accountability and community as we navigate life’s everyday challenges. Stay tuned for more info soon! And if you’re not a member of the free Becoming YOUR Best Community on Facebook, make sure to join here!
Until next time, take a deep breath or two and never stop becoming the best version of YOU.
Join the free Becoming YOUR Best Community on Facebook here!
In the meantime, I’d love to hear from you! What are your experiences in this area? What would you love to hear about? Or do you have some great tips to share? DM me at http://www.instagram.com/jennylytlern
And if you’re ready to go deeper into any of these areas, check out ways to work with me further at https://www.jennylytle.com/work-with-jenny
I am also always open to suggestions and show ideas, and want to collaborate with other like-minded individuals, so feel free to reach out to me at https://www.jennylytle.com/podcast-guest