I was talking with my friend, Tony Smith the other day. “I’m maxed out,” I said. He snorted a deep chest guffaw and said, “I suggest that maxed out is your preferred operating style.” Truth be told, he’s right but as I delve into a PhD program, I need plenty of tricks and tips in order to at least pretend to keep the balance.
Here is a list of what I’m trying.
- Plan your week. In a 90 minute session scheduled on my calendar I attempt to schedule, self care, kid care, husband time and studying. Of course that’s in addition to my full-time job but nonetheless, staying mindful about what I hope to accomplish helps.
- Delete the games. Oh, it’s true. Some of you reading this have been my buddies in battle in Words with Friends and anything else that centers on creating words or improving vocabulary. You may see me again in June but until then, I’m out.
- Plan out a week’s worth of menus. It may not work out exactly as planned but with the list that I’ve generated from the menus, I can shop and feel confident that the ingredients are on-hand.
- Turn off the notifications – part 1. Those of us who are old enough remember the movie, “You’ve got mail.” Those of us who are busy enough really don’t need to know when fresh email is dropping into our inbox. Turn off the notification
- Turn off the notifications – part 2. If you carry a cell phone, while it’s fun to know who retweeted your tweet or commented on your facebook post, it’s incredibly distracting in the middle of the day. Turn off the notifications and be surprised just like we used to be when there was a letter in the mailbox.
- Create a sacred space. We have Hindu friends who’ve created a beautiful prayer room and alter. In my home, I’ve taken over the desk of my college freshman. I have my stuff scattered and it is all together.
- Practice self care. I’m intending to use this as a guiding principle although I haven’t actually been effective at it to date. My intention is to schedule this in every week.
- Ask for help when you need it. I need help with carpooling to school or to an event. We often don’t ask but I don’t have that luxury any longer.
- Take five. Start your morning with breathing or a prayer or a time to be still. It needn’t be fancy but the benefits will serve you throughout the day and beyond.
PLEASE, let me know your tricks and tips. I am very interested in human productivity but frankly, can use your help right now!