I used to think I was great at time management and that I could handle stress. I felt like I had a handle on my life and that I didn’t need to reassess my situation.
Now, I realize how certain situations can force you to lose those abilities. Instead of focusing at work, I am thinking about all of the things that I don’t have time to do. I get home and I am rushing to empty the dishwasher, fold the laundry that’s been sitting in the dryer for days, make dinner, blog, pack my lunch for the following day, and fit in some study time for IIN.
I have a tendency of becoming overwhelmed easily. My alarm goes off at 4:45. I usually snooze and then throw the covers off in disgust because I am tired. I head to the gym, which is probably the happiest part of my day… aside from eating (ha). I always wish I have more time at the gym. I get home and know that I don’t have enough time to sit and relax over breakfast so I make a quick protein shake and drink as I am walking to the bathroom to shower. Some days I just say ‘screw it’ and I sit down and enjoy breakfast anyway. Either way, I am always late for work. My commute is anywhere from 60 to 90 minutes depending on traffic and trains. I usually walk into work late and irritated. I usually call my mom and complain the entire time. I don’t know what I would do with out her. I want to say ‘thank you’, ‘I’m sorry’, and ‘I love you’ all at the same time for putting up with me. Luckily, IIN has filled some of my commute time that used to be completely wasted. Now, I can use those 2.5 hours being productive by listening to lectures on the iPod they give you.
At work, I am constantly adding things to my personal to do list, thinking about what I need to get done after work, and what needs to be accomplished over the weekend. I get flustered when things don’t go right at work for fear that I will be there past 6pm, which will leave me with even less time to get things done at home. Even when I do leave at 6, I get home after 7:00, eat, do my ‘chores’, and basically just goto sleep. I watch TV briefly, but I am usually exhausted. I get really worried if I am not sleeping by 10pm, knowing that my alarm will be blaring in less than 7 hours. Unfortunately, my body doesn’t function on any less sleep.
I can’t forget to mention that before I fall asleep, my head is spinning with things I need to do, things I need to add to my to do list, things that are going to frustrate me at work the next day, and how much I am going to dread doing the same thing I just did for 14 hours.
This is usually the time that I give myself a panic attach and poor Joe is trying to calm down this crazy person laying in bed next to him. One thing that he said to me once that always stuck, was “you have your list of things you need to do and you want to do every one of them. right. now.” This is true. I don’t prioritize, I feel like everything needs to be done right this second. I partially blame my mom for this glitch in my personality (sorry Mom!). But, I just can’t help it. “You can help it, you just have to know where to focus your energy”, Joe told me. I know, he’s worked longer than me and dealt with far more stressful situations, but in my world, these ‘small’ things are legitimately stressful to me. Joe has suggested that I try to change my schedule around to make things work and make myself happy. I, of course, come back with something like, “All of these things need to be done. When else am I going to do them? I don’t have enough time”. Yada yada yada.
I want a clean house, clean dishes and clean laundry. I want fresh produce ready for me to pack lunches and cook dinners. I want enough time at the gym to put in a quality workout. I want to study for IIN and be a successful health coach. I want to work on my blog and read other inspirational blogs in the healthy living community. I want time to do errands so that I don’t have to give up “me time” or relaxation. If I don’t do these things, who will?
A few things have helped me to find a solution. Recently, I read Clare’s post and how she stopped putting pressure on herself. This is when it hit me. I’ve been putting pressure on myself to do these things. No one else is going to reprimand me if they don’t get done. Well, sometimes Joe asks why the house has to be so messy, but I think he learned to avoid that after I snapped and gave him the whole spiel I just gave you guys above.
In any event, I need to realize that if one thing on my list doesn’t get completed, I can’t feel guilty about it. I need to tell myself that tomorrow is another day and staying up later to complete my list isn’t going to benefit me, it’s only going to interfere with time with Joe, or sleeping, which will leave me miserable in the morning. I deserve time to myself.
Another realization came from some of my IIN classes. One of the modules included an audio snippet about time management. One thing I need to do is to start scheduling self-care time into my day. If I don’t, I won’t do it. Along with adding meetings and doctors appointments to my calendar, I should be adding 30 minutes here and there of ‘me time’. I never account for my travel to and from places, either. If I have an adequate amount of time blocked off for each activity of my day, I can see where ‘me time’ fits in, or where I need to cut back. It might seem like everything is just as important as the next, but you have to be able to cut something out. Not everything can be a priority.
Not being able to take time for myself makes everything else in life less pleasurable. It makes me nervous and irritable all the time. If I have time to sit, relax, think, breathe, read, and do the things that I truly enjoy doing, it will help me become better at all the other aspects of my life. It’s extremely important that I find time for myself.
I’ve always struggled with being a routine-driven person. It’s hard for me to stray off of my routine. I get aggravated. I don’t always see change as a good thing or an opportunity. I find improvising to be wrong and work better with structure. I have this skewed vision that I should be able to finish everything in the amount of time I have, and if not, I’m a failure.
A lot of changes need to be made around here. I can’t continue to create stress in my life. I need to focus on what I have rather than what I don’t have. I have a job with health benefits. I have a loving family, boyfriend, and friends. I have my health and the ability to exercise as I please. I think that there are a number of things that go into it, but IIN has helped me get a jump start on managing my time and reducing stress. I had my first call with my health coach last night, which left me imagining where I may be a year from now. I hope I will be helping people like myself, to find and bring out the best possible person they could be.