We’ve all been there, it’s eight or nine o’clock at night (maybe even later for some of us, guilty) and you are just catching your breath from the day. Only to realize that you are exhausted, and it is time to do it all over again in a matter of hours. What is a girl to do? I would like to share with you ten ways to slow down the daily rush.
These tips are simple and easy to implement. Each is a stand-alone tactic you can employ to slow down the pace and make each minute count. You can’t imagine how much impact you will see if you start using them together!
Let’s get busy slowing down the daily hustle:
1) Make a list.
It doesn’t matter how you do this, just do it. Your thoughts get to bouncing around in your head, and it can be quite overwhelming. Brain dump into some form of note taking approach. Paper or digital… either one works great! Getting these thoughts, ideas, and issues out of your head and in front of your eyes will allow you to identify what needs attention, what is most urgent, and what just doesn’t matter.
2) Break tasks into measured increments.
Figure out what needs to be done at specific times and dates and what has flexibility in when it is completed. Then layout a plan of what gets done each day. Some tasks may be larger, and those you can spread out over a period of days if needed. For example, if you want to clean out a storage space that could take some time. Instead of filling an entire day with one task and neglecting other things that need to be done. Plan to work on that task for a set amount of time for three days. Then you don’t feel rushed, and you are able to tend to other things that you need to do.
3) Narrow the scope of your attention.
This works well in conjunction with the above tip to make a list. Lay out all of those things that have been overwhelming you, find things that you can let go of so you can focus on more impactful areas. You are looking for the best bang for your effort. All this is with the goal of slowing down each day. You will get so much further in your goal to reclaim your day if you keep the focus simple and clear.
4) Make time for mandatory self-care.
I know we have all heard it, but it’s true. You can’t be your best for others if you don’t take care of yourself. Sometimes the best thing you can do to get pep back in your step is to take a little time away, do something that truly feeds your soul. Everyone is different. Maybe it is something big occasionally, or maybe it is something small every day. Only you know what is best, but I am giving you permission today that whatever it is, you should do it!
5) Set a “Calling It Quits” time. (I do this daily.)
There has to be a cutoff. You can set a time each day that you accept that you did what you could, and that is good enough. So identify the must do’s, dinner, clean up, bathes, etc. whatever you place in the “must do” category. Concentrate on them and when that time comes, call it quits. Be proud of all the things you accomplished and relax.
6) Identify projects and improvements that would make a lasting impact.
Take a look around and see if there are changes that could be made. This would be areas of your home and life that need improvement or organization. In doing so, it will make day-to-day functioning vastly different. This tip was key for me in making lasting changes to my daily pace because I found that my house needed a lot of organizing. I discovered that the lack of orderly, well thought out spaces along with too much clutter was contributing substantially to my chaotic state.
7) Ask for help.
Identify if there are things you are handling that could be delegated to someone else. Would a husband be willing to take something off your plate or perhaps the kids can take something on as a chore (maybe even a commission)? Us mamas tend to take on far more than we can handle, and it leaves us less than we could be for those we care about most. I find my kids are almost always open to taking on something new to earn money. And hey, sometimes giving kids responsibilities to chip in for the household (free) is a great growing experience for them. That’s two birds with one stone, now that’s working efficiently!
8) Set a consistent sleep cycle.
This was a hard sell for me. I am not a morning person, like AT ALL. I have always gone to bed late and got up early during the week and then slept in on the weekends. It is definitely what came most natural to me. I began testing the theory of a routine bedtime, and the results were impressive. I started falling asleep easier and waking up consistently at the same time. My wake time was earlier in the morning, but I didn’t feel deprived. The earlier start made me feel more productive each day. I have always wanted to be a morning person but couldn’t get over the roadblock that I like to sleep. Well, I still get to sleep, but I naturally wake up earlier. Getting your body into a steady routine will leave you feeling more relaxed and possibly having a little more time in the day.
9) Have an evening prep session.
Prepare for the next day before it gets here. Identify time-consuming or stressful aspects of your day and see if you can do something to ease that burden the night before. For example, sit out clothes, prep food, or make a “to do” list. That right there, the list, I think is the most helpful thing you can do. When I get into the push of a day, I tended to get distracted and absent-minded about what I planned. That leaves me at the end of the day feeling very unproductive. If I have a visual list to go off of, I can stay on task throughout the day making me far more productive.
10) Conduct a morning briefing.
This works seamlessly with the previous suggestion to have an evening prep session specifically making a “to do” list. If making a list is a part of what you do to prepare for the next day then first thing that morning you can review the list and have a clear vision of what is expected from you and your path to get it done!
Every day there are more things to do than there are hours to do them. Slowing down the pace is possible when you employ simple, straightforward tactics like the ones discussed above. Pick one or pick many, either way, you are well on your way to a calmer paced day!