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Hmmmm...today's Daily Om...

...which I didn't have time to read till just now.  Tells you something, eh??

I DID decide I simply couldn't take on the Photoshop Elements class that starts Sunday, even though I would like to--just bought PSE-5, but I'd be crazy to try to fit it in.  THose classes are very intensive, and I tend to get caught up in them.  With the drawing class just ending, gearing up for the watercolor class that starts around the first of February, working on new CDs and continuing to try to simplify the house as well as my life--plus the normal making-a-living stuff--there's just no way. 

Good old Daily Om...*g*

January 5, 2007

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.

Comments

(Anonymous)

Prioritizing

Kate,
Profound advice that only comes with experience. I wish that I could force my 3 adult children to read and practice your plan. Two are in the phase of their lives where work and family gobbles up all hours and I hope that they emerge from the other end of this phase with commitments to something that brings them personal and individual joy. I started quilting when I had 3 babies, a sick husband (now 27 years after curative cancer surgery - himself a surgeon) and a full time faculty position in medicine with patients, research, teaching etc. I could always carry a small baggie with fabric, needle, thread and do a little stitching each day (like others sketch) while sitting, standing, waiting for others. At the end of each month I'd have something I accomplished and square by square I made nap quilts for my children, my husband, and myself - then bed quilts, pillows, wall hangings, Christmas ornaments etc. Needlework was my passion and my salvation - and my family LOVED the product. I can't imagine a life without creating and now juggle partial retirement with needlework, sketching, and grandchildren. I have a monthly session with myself at the computer where I reflect on my goals for the year and for the month. I send myself an email and then at the end of the month re-evaluate and plan for the next month. I constantly need to reprioritize - some projects stay on my list month after month and on others I make micromovements. But I gradually can take some control over my time.

I've enjoyed getting to "know you" during this year that I've belonged to the Everyday Matters Group. Thanks for your constant inspiration, artist tips, and generous sharing of your own work.

Re: Prioritizing

"I have a monthly session with myself at the computer where I reflect on my goals for the year and for the month. I send myself an email and then at the end of the month re-evaluate and plan for the next month. I constantly need to reprioritize - some projects stay on my list month after month and on others I make micromovements. But I gradually can take some control over my time."

What a wonderful idea, thank you. I am a workaholic, as suggested in my blog name, and need to remind myself often that that is not all there is to life.

Your children will get there, I'm sure, but I think you need to be of a certain age before you realize how important it is to allow some time for your own creativity, your own needs. I have a friend who is a very busy Orthodox bishop...he says occasionally he has to stop and let his soul catch up with him. I love that...

I'm so glad to know your husband is better! Having something creative to do with your hands and heart had to help you through all that...

And please, I'd love to know who you are! I only recently allowed comments from non-LJ users, and it's frustrating to get such a lovely and thoughtful post and not know who it was from! ;-)
Kate, what a marvelous daily Om. While I think I am better at this than many, (I truly don't know how or why some folks do what they do, or worse, push their children to do so)the New Year is a great time to evaluate what we spend our time on. I wish you a year full of peace, joy and bright blessings.
Wasn't that a good one?

And no, I don't know why the regimented business, either...it's exhausting! It's as if some find it too frightening or boring to be quiet, alone, away from the cell phone or the TV or the, um, computer.*rg*

And thank you, I wish you the same!

(Anonymous)

Finding the balance

Hi sweet Kate,
Your post is timely for me---I struggle to find the balance between structure and spontaneity. I seem to do better when I have pretty set goals, but I try to keep the psychic space within them loose. If that psychobabble makes any sense.I applaud your not taking on the PS classes right now. You seem to have an excellent sense of what works for you and when.
Xoxo,
Xoxa

Re: Finding the balance

Well put, dear Xoxa! The balance 'tween structure and spontaneity, yes! I like my days to be relatively predictable with an option to throw it all up in the air and do something different. I feel oppressed by too many plans too much in advance, as if I am almost trapped, even when they're something I KNOW that I will enjoy when I actually do them!

That's why we won't be reading any Art Plans for 2007 from this old girl, though...my art plan for 2007 is to keep making art. ;-)

And I don't necessarily have all that much sense--J. convinced me I would go nuts trying to do this much, which would NOT allow time to do as I did today, which was run away and paint this afternoon, then take myself out to dinner on the way home! He knows me soooo well...and watches out for my best interests!

Have I mentioned I love that man??