4.08.2014

Breathe In, Breathe Out

You may have noticed that things have been a bit quiet around here the past week or so. It's time for a little bit of truth: When life gets a bit crazy, one of the things that slips from me is the drive to write and create. As soon as writing starts to feel like a chore, I know it's time to get things in check. To take a step back, re-prioritize, and get myself to a place where creating evokes feelings of passion, not contempt.

This blog is a huge priority of mine. I love the relationships that it's enabled me to develop, the opportunities it's provided, and the creative outlet it's been. But there's one side of this blog that can be a tough beast to keep up with: it's very time consuming. I work hard at every post and have made it a goal to never throw something up "just because", which has at times lead to mini bursts of quiet time over here. I hate that, but hey, I'm human. I do hope in the midst of those times that my readers know how deeply I care about this internet haven of mine. 

The reality is that between a full-time {+ more} job, planning a wedding, and keeping my relationships a top priority, blogging can be hard to squeeze in when life gets super busy. Most of my posts are done early in the morning (refer to below) or late at night (again, refer to below) and sometimes I'm just tired. Sometimes, I'd rather read a book, take a bath, watch a favorite show, or sleep. So I do. 

All this is being said with a very important message in mind. I've learned a thing or two about juggling a lot, and I'd like to pass along a few thoughts of advice to anyone who can relate. You have to cut yourself some slack. You have to indulge in the little, quiet things that keep your mind at peace. You have to sometimes just accept that things aren't going to be perfect, and that's okay. Sometimes, you have to just be

With all that said, I put together a few of the key things that help me to get back on track when I'm feeling overwhelmed. I know that everyone has times when you feel like you just need a second to catch up. I hope this post can help you get there, and perhaps even inspire you to stop and smell the roses along the way.
Image via my Instagram.

:: ITC ADVICE FOR GETTING. THINGS. DONE. :: 

Make To-Do Lists
Write down categories of your life (i.e. "Work", "Wedding planning", or "Home") and jot down the tasks associated with each one. Sometimes the complete list can be shocking, which to me is a big driver for getting things done, but it can also be overwhelming. If you start with the easy, less time consuming things first, you'll find that those check marks will start to roll off and make your list a lot less daunting.

Break Time-Consuming Tasks Up
Sometimes, the hardest part about checking something off your list is the fact that you know it will take hours to do, so you wait for the opportune time. News flash: It will never come. The solve? Make a game plan, segment things off, and start to tackle it little by little. A prime example of a time-consuming to-do on my end recently was writing thank you notes after my first bridal shower. At first, I looked at the pile of notes waiting to be written, stamped, addressed and mailed and thought, "How am I going to get this all done in a timely manner?" The answer was making it manageable. I broke up my note list into groups of 10, and tackled one group a night. Before I knew it, all my thank you notes were out the door, and I breathed a sigh of relief. 

Prioritize
If your list is long, all the items can't be labeled "ASAP". It's just not humanly possible. Begin by asking yourself what's a true necessity to get done, and what's a "nice to have". The necessities are the most likely culprits to give you anxiety, so focus on getting those done first, and your mind frame will be a lot less frazzled. 
:: Forget not that the earth longs to feel your bare feet, and the winds long to play with your hair. ::
Be Active
This is so underrated in keeping a calm mind. Being active, whether it's going on a walk or going to the gym, truly helps to alleviate stress. It boosts your energy and keeps both your body and mind in tip-top shape. There's really no other way around it. 

Ask For Help
One of the things that I've personally been working on lately is asking for help. Delegating has never been a strong suit of mine. I always think, "It's easier if I just do it. Asking for help will take too long to explain and manage." The thing about this mentality is that A. It's not sustainable if you have a lot on your plate, B. It doesn't let the people around you participate in things that they may want to, and C. It's quite frankly a bit controlling. I've been asking for more help lately with wedding planning, and I've been trying to delegate more things at work, and honestly I can feel the difference in my mentality. It's a calmer state over here. And guess what? Things are still getting done, even if I'm not the one personally doing it. (Shocking, I know.)

Stay Up Late. Wake Up Early. 
Do what works for your schedule. Sometimes staying up late to get things checked off is best for me, and sometimes waking up early is what I need to do. There's only 24 hours in a day, and if you've got back-to-back things planned throughout the bulk of it, the key times to optimize are your nights and mornings. Sometimes, if you need more time, you just have to make it. Remember, you have as many hours in a day as Beyonce. Thanks for the anxiety, B. (JK, I love you.)

Just Breathe
Yeah, it's cliche. But it's true. Take a moment, hour, or day - whatever you need - and let yourself relax. It can be driving the car while listening to the music loudly, yoga, cooking, reading, watching tv, enjoying a glass of wine, or even doing laundry. Whatever it is that turns your brain off and lets you chill out a little, do it. Do it without remorse or hesitation, and do it often. 

Drink Coffee.
Ha! But, seriously. 

Do you have other pieces of advice for managing time and maintaining a busy schedule? Do share! 

9 comments:

  1. ugh I hear ya! I can't imagine planning a wedding while also working full-time and having a blog. I find that getting enough sleep helps (sleep and my health > writing a blog post). :)

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  2. Oh yeah I can't imagine wedding planning and a full time job! I'm not looking forward to that when the time comes!

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  3. Love these tips! Sleep, to do lists, and prioritizing have always been key for me to get things done!

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  4. I totally agree, I love blogging so much but it really can be time consuming on top of regular obligations. These tips are so perfect.
    -Alex
    http://www.monstermisa.blogspot.com/

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  5. Sometimes when I know I have a lot of things to do that I don't enjoy doing, I try to split my list up and stagger the unenjoyable tasks with things I like doing, like clean my room, then go for a run, and then clean the bathroom.

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  6. Oh man- the months before my wedding were the worst!!!! You'll make it though and in the meantime don't forget self-care! Take a bubble bath, get a manicure or just relax for an hour- it'll help you be productive in all other areas!

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  7. I so needed to read this today! Another reason I love blogging, other people who 'get it'!

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  8. I really needed this today, I've been feeling really overwhelmed and this helped.

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  9. You have to do what you have to do doll, what makes life happy for you & not a stress. Blogging should be fun, not another added chore. This was a great post xx

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