I am really busy. I truly am. It isn’t unusual for people who love me to express concern that I might be overdoing it. I’m not. Sure, there is the occasional day or even week in which I might get a little frazzled. But, that’s rare and very short-lived. By the way, my husband is not one of those people. He knows the pace at which I’m comfortable. On the rare occasion that I get frazzled, he’ll ask when my next break is. But, he knows I’m good at keeping everything in flow and in perspective.
What I am is efficient. I group like activities. I mono-task. Yes, multi-tasking is all the rage. And, I can, of course, talk on the phone while folding laundry. However, I tend to do one thing at a time when I’m working on something that requires attention. I’ve discovered that it makes me much more efficient and accurate at my tasks.
I plan. I know what I have to get done for the day and map out a plan for getting it done. A plan is essential for efficiency. Flitting from activity to activity is time-consuming.
I build in some wiggle room. If I believe a task will take 15 minutes I allot 20. This gives me transition time and oops time. The longer the task, the more wiggle room I give.
I turn off the phone. We have dial-up internet, so if I’m online the house phone doesn’t ring. I set my cell to silent. I will check it periodically to make sure I’ve not missed an urgent call. But, I don’t answer it while I’m working. No texts. No emails unless that’s what I’m working on.
I rest. That’s the real secret to getting so much done. I have built into my day times to relax and refresh. I love reading. It’s relaxing for me. It’s also an excellent way to gain knowledge. I schedule a bit of time to read during those times of the day when I seem to have a little less energy. Mid-afternoon is the time I’m at my least productive. So, that’s my time to settle in. I try to allot an hour. During that hour I’ll read business-related materials (magazines, books, newsletters) and possibly even doze a little. It’s amazing how refreshing a 10-minute nap can be.
Finally, I pray. Before I take on any new responsibilities I pray about them. I don’t usually get asked to do things that are bad. But, just because it’s something good doesn’t mean it’s what God would have me add to my plate. Little things require just a few seconds to consult the Lord. Bigger commitments require a few days of prayer and counsel. Now, I do know people who could use this as an excuse to sit back and do little. That’s wrong. I know a lot of other people who would be a lot less stressed if they would just take the time to check in with the Lord and make sure this is something to add to their already-packed schedule. God does not want you burned out for the Kingdom. And, a burned-out spouse/parent is not serving the family well.
So, yes, I’m busy. I’m also open to adding whatever God might want to add to my schedule.