I’ve got a confession to make. Recently, my life has become crazy busy; I work full-time and in my free time I run this blog, as well as keeping up with the usual routines of exercise, housework and social life.My job is often extremely busy and to manage my workload I’ve become adept at juggling lists and finding the time to complete those tasks that crop up suddenly.
Unfortunately, I’ve begun to approach my personal life in the same way I manage my job. Everything is a task to be ticked off a list, which often sucks the joy out of things that I should be enjoying.
Take reading, for example. I’m a huge book nerd; I love to devour as many books as possible. For about three years now I’ve been part of the Amazon Vine programme, which means each month I can choose up to four new books (or sometimes other products) from a list and I get them for free, as long as I review them on the website. Sadly, as I get busier I have less time to read and I often find myself ploughing through dull novels that just don’t engage me. All this adds up to me falling behind with my reading and having a huge stack of books to get through.
I looked at them the other day as it was time to start a new book and I couldn’t see anything I wanted to read. As much as I love to read, it has now become a chore that I stress over when I’m thinking about how to fit everything in to my life.
And it isn’t the only thing. If I have to find time to do something, it mentally goes on my list of tasks for the day. The goal is simply to get everything done and relishing the process is often forgotten. It can be hard to give each task the attention or energy it deserves and I often feel guilty that I’m not spending enough time with my husband or making the effort to meet up with friends.
So how do you deal with this?
I reviewed a book recently that was written by another blogger, Marthe Hagan from The Freedom Experiment. Feeling Good When Life is Hard is all about managing life’s struggles and becoming happy and fulfilled.
In the book, Marthe describes a time when she would panic because she just didn’t have enough hours in the day to cope with all her commitments. Her stress levels became unbearable, until she realised that the problem was her approach. By simply making the effort not to panic and approach each task calmly, she found she had more time to achieve everything she wanted.
Stay flexible and embrace spontaneity
To rediscover the joy in tasks that have become mundane, you need to limit the way you schedule them into your life and allow some flexibility.
You may have planned to write a blog post, cook a meal, clean the house and go for a run after work one night, but if a friend calls and asks you to go to the cinema, don’t panic and feel that you are chained to your routine. Sure, it’s important to get all those things done, but having an evening of spontaneity can be reinvigorating.
Sit back and think about why you’re doing all these things
For most people the housework will always be a chore, but if you’re writing a blog, chances are it’s because you’re passionate about your subject and it’s that enthusiasm that will make your website stand out from the crowd and keep you blogging even when times are tough.
Where possible, work in advance
It’s easy to schedule a blog post in and having your material prepared does free up a lot of time. Suddenly you’re not glaring at the computer screen at ten thirty at night, fighting rising panic that you have to post something today but it just isn’t happening.
Aim to switch off the computer as early as you can
If you promise to be finished work by nine thirty, you have an hour or two to relax and enjoy a book or spend time with your loved ones. And if the computer is switched off, you won’t end up wasting time surfing through Facebook or Pinterest.
If you can take the time to enjoy the small things again, it has a huge effect on your life. If you’re happy and you’re doing what you love, it’s inspiring.