MId-January – Are You Ready?

We all know it’s coming.

The crunch.

It will happen.

Why don’t we prepare?  Wishful thinking perhaps???

The holidays are over – Christmas brought around a wonderfully crazy time and the welcoming of the New Year allowed us to dream of possibilities.

It’s a slow recovery but the lull is almost over.  Soon, high gear will be the every day norm as projects at work intensify, new ones come along and the associated challenges pile up.

Prepare Now to Avoid Huge Stress

Take a piece of paper.  On the left hand side, down the side of the page, write in hours from 12 midnight to 11 pm – every half hour eg 12, 12:30 am, 1 am, etc.  Across the top, write the days of the week – all 7 days – Mon, Tues, Wed, etc.

For each day, write in the activities for each hour.  For instance, say you sleep from 10 pm to 6 am, so block that time off and write in what you do – Sleep.  And so on for every other activity.  Say, at 6 am, you prepare your body for work – grooming, dressing, eating – write down beside 6 am, these activities and block off the time it takes.  If it’s an hour, then you have blocked 6 to 7 am for work preparation.  But . . . wait . . . you don’t go to work on Saturday and Sunday —- likely your schedule will change.  Pay attention to what you are writing down.

Keep filling in this table until you have included everything you know you do regularly for each day.

You can break this down further for some of the big blocks of time like work time.  List the times you email, return calls, work on projects, etc.  Include as many regular activities as you can.

Now, the sobering part.  You’ll see one of two things:

1.  You have very little spare time to do anything more than you are doing or

2.  You have a lot of spare time to fill

Why Should You Do This Exercise?

To prevent from over booking yourself and creating a lot of stress in your life.

There will always be crunch times in life brought on by the unexpected.

But you can control what you say yes to.

For instance, are you forever volunteering at work only to find that you must stay late to finish your regular work?  Do you follow the crowd after work and never indulge in the activities you would really like to engage in?  If you have a lot time to spare, it’s not an issue.  But if you find you have little time to spare, then this exercise is for you.  You’ll see visually how little time you have to spare and when you do say yes to something new, you’ll be doing so consciously inserting the activity sanely.  Saying no is a great time and stress saver!

Try it.  You might like what you find!

Lorraine Arams

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