Virginia Alice, author of "HONOR ONE ANOTHER: The ABCs of Embracing Our Spirit Within," writes about social media, wellness, and writing.
Juggling the Busyness of Life
I spoke with my brother and my momma recently. None of us have a job outside the home right now, and yet we are always busy. There are so many projects to tackle, so many to-dos. How do we get them all done, we wonder and ask each other.
Ways We Strive for Orderliness
As we talked, my brother told me about how he handles his projects. As they arise, he puts each one in a bucket. He may tackle one today and two tomorrow. Each day is different, and he tries to stay motivated and not get overwhelmed.
Both Momma and I use to-do lists and have for years. Momma uses a thick, small-sized spiral notebook. Always has and always will, she says.
Me? I use anything I can get my hands on. Spiral notebooks are good; regular-sized, and small like Momma uses. But I also use sticky notes, Excel spreadsheets, the MS Sticky Notes app, and other note apps, like InkpadNotepad and ColorNote. I even use calendars – the ones you hang on the walls, lay on your desk or open as a book, and Gmail and Yahoo versions as well.
We overfill our lives, hoping more will make us feel like we are enough.
— Ellie Roscher
Using and Controlling To-Do Lists
Because to-do lists can get out of control, I've taken to using different methods to keep my lists short and sweet. One method, the longest I’ve been using, and which I use the ColorNote app for, is daily to-dos. This helps me remember to do certain things like take medications, run errands, or do certain chores.
The second method is for items that need tackled but not necessarily on a certain day. I use a spiral notebook for these. Every time I complete a task, I put a checkmark by it, line through it, and add the date, so I know when it was done. It’s a good feeling to check off and line out an item, like I accomplished something great and yet I never have to look at it again.
At the start of each week, I rewrite the tasks which haven’t been completed onto a blank page in my spiral. Sometimes, I don’t carry over an item which might have lost importance by the end of the week. This also feels good, like I'm glad I didn't spend time on it after all.
My last and newest method is for major projects in which I try to tackle one per month. I learned this method from a cousin who replaced doing her new year’s resolutions with it. Twelve projects are selected and each one written on a piece of paper which is then folded and placed in a jar or small box. On the first day of the month, one item is selected. The goal is to take as long as the entire month to complete it. This is my second year using this method, and I’m enjoying it thus far.
Some times things just fall off your plate.
— V.K. Springs
Ways to Not Get Overwhelmed
Despite have systems in place for tackling all the to-dos in life, trying to juggle chores, errands, and meals can be overwhelming. I'm sure in your life, like in mine, there’s relaxation, selfcare, and fun times to work in, as well. So, what does a person do?
For me, I try to keep a perspective on life. For one, I remind myself that all these to-dos are just things I want to accomplish. I’ve learned if something is important it'll get done whether it’s on a to-do list or not. So, I do a few things, not on a to-do list, which help me keep centered throughout my day.
Morning Reflection – I take a few minutes to wake up, pray, read from positive, uplifting, and soul-nurturing words.
Fitness – I take another few minutes to do a calisthenics routine and maybe an upper or lower body workout.
Walking/Nature – I make sure to get outdoors for breaks which has a way of centering me whether I’m bored, antsy, melancholy, uncertain, sad, dismayed, stressed or any other offbeat emotion.
Reading – I love to read for leisure, and there were years when I sacrificed reading due to being "too busy." Now, I alternate my evening reading with books I enjoy in the genres of memoir, mystery, and romcoms.
Learning – This one is a bit more challenging; but if you love to learn like I do, there are many ways to take achieve success (either in spare time or time carved out) from podcasts to books to YouTube videos.
Slowing Your Way Out of Being Busy
A few years ago, I wrote the following poem for a team meeting reflection at the job I was working. I’m sharing it with you here as a reminder that the busyness of life does not go away by itself. The busyness of life stays with us. Only slowing down will help us to juggle life better and put busyness in perspective.
The Busyness of Life
As I come to "work", dear Lord,
In your vineyard every day,
Grant me the patience and humility
To see others’ lives and needs your way.
As I struggle with all that needs done,
Dear Lord, give me clarity and peace of mind
To see the giant picture of how things are
And not how I think things should unwind.
Dear Lord, as I seek your plan for me,
Help me to be receptive, open, willing
To be the vessel of that purpose You
Created for me in the very beginning.
And, in the busyness of life, dear Lord,
Let me "hear" your voice, not just implied,
In the eyes, the needs, the unspoken pleas
Of those who need you so much more than I.
As I start each day, let me be passionate
About what You brought me here for.
Let me serve you, dear Lord, in all that I am,
All that I have to offer and all that I hope for.
As my day continues forward, dear Lord,
May I be filled with peace for a job well done,
Not once doubting your faith in my abilities,
Just simply praying for everyone.
And, as I end my day, I pray, dear Lord,
That I have done my best with what is yours,
For in the end, all that I have is all that I need
As I pass through this life, impacting your world.
Letting Go of Busyness
As you go about your busy days, whether you work at home or in an office or other facility or even outdoors, always remember to take time to slow down. Using a to-do list to gain more order in life is great, but taking time for the things you enjoy is important, too. Always try to do at least one thing to center you – whether it’s a walk or hike in nature or reading a good book.
Better yet, let go of something. Let go of just one thing that will give you more time to enjoy your life. Then, do the one thing that brings you more peace, more love, more centeredness. Let’s stop juggling so much busyness and start enjoying our life with satisfaction.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2022 Virginia Alice Crawford