Multiple choice, ladies: You find yourself, somehow, with an extra 60 minutes of time on your hands, on a random weekday. What do you do with this rare and super-exciting gift of free time?
- A) Speed over to Target and return the items that have been in your trunk for three weeks (you had good intentions)
- B) Load the dishwasher (if you’re working from home) and throw in a load of laundry, while picking up after your human (or fur) babies
- C) Call some of the places you’ve been meaning to call (dentist, vet, doctor) and schedule some of the appointments you’ve been meaning to schedule, and then try to catch up on a few emails and text messages
- D) All of the above (or, an attempt at all of the above, which results in you running around like a crazy person with elevated stress levels and realizing that an hour isn’t going to be long enough to get it all done damnit, and now you’re hungry but you don’t have time to eat anything healthy, so you shove a few crackers into your mouth and head back to your laptop feeling sort of frustrated and a little overwhelmed)
I almost ALWAYS choose “D.” And I bet a lot of you do, too.
Why do we put so much pressure on ourselves to get it all done? I realize some of you readers are magical unicorns who can delegate tasks and lighten the load on your shoulders by taking a deep breath and just doing what you can (and I want to be like you when I grow up, even though I’m 43 years old). But for those of you who operate at a crazy pace, which eventually leads to burnout and exhaustion, maybe you’ll find a few of the tricks below helpful. They’re tips I often share with my clients at 10MoreSeconds, LLC, and I find myself needing to revisit them sometimes, since it just so happens that I’m human, too.
1: Make a list each morning of the top three, most important things you want to accomplish for the day. These don’t have to be groundbreaking (do not try to be a “Gold Star Maven” and do an extra 74 things). Just the top three things that, if completed, will make you rest a little easier at the day’s end. Limit it to three.
2: Move. Even if it’s just for ten minutes. Go for a “podcast walk.” Lie on a mat and stretch. It doesn’t have to be formal. Just give yourself ten minutes of movement, even on your busiest day. Note: I DO work in the field of fitness, so by default, you should have known I was going to say something about exercising.
3: Don’t survive on coffee. I mean, there’s nothing wrong with SOME coffee. Personally, I drink three cups a day and I love every single drop of it (and you haven’t lived until you’ve had an iced pistachio oat milk latte from Provider). But ladies, you need a lot of water, too. Maybe it’s not more caffeine that your busy little body is craving, but more H2O. Shoot for half of your body weight, in ounces, every day.
4: Don’t be afraid to ask for help. You know that friend who is always asking, “What can I do to help?” Guess what? SHE MEANS THAT!! Those of you in the back, listen up: She. Wants. To. Help. She would not say those words if she didn’t mean it. And if you say to this lovely friend, “You know what, if you’re at the grocery, could you pick up XYZ for me and I’ll Venmo you?” please know that she will be thrilled. Friends want to help. Friends like to help. The tiniest favors can make a world of difference in your busy, busy day.
5: Lastly, and I cannot stress this enough, organization is your friend. Maybe your best friend. A little planning and prep on the back end goes a long way. Maybe that’s setting up your workspace (home or office) to be more conducive. Maybe it’s scheduling the days you’ll workout with a friend, and sticking to it. Maybe that’s planning the week’s meals, and grocery shopping based off the lunches and dinners you plan to make. Or a little food prep on Sunday, which means you’ll have fresh, healthy food waiting for you in the refrigerator.
Mavens, as amazing as you are, you cannot live on stress, caffeine, and crackers alone. Taking care of yourself physically and mentally is key to managing your busy lives. And regarding the question posed at the very start of this article? Every once in a while, choose option E, which is: giving yourself a break and doing whatever it is that makes you happiest.
Lindsay Willard realizes that one thing is for certain: There are a lot of health and wellness professionals out there. But she’s also sure of something else: that after working in the field for almost 15 years, her education, expertise, and experience give her exactly what she needs to make her small business, 10MoreSeconds, LLC, a success. What sets her apart? She’s found a way to make exercise fun and she’s created tools for her clients to make eating better more manageable.
All of our content—including this article—is completely free. However, we’d love if you would please consider supporting our journalism with an Indy Maven membership.