The key is not to prioritize what’s on your schedule, but to schedule your priorities. ~ S. Covey
It appears I’m stuck in a food themed metaphor groove this month! Perhaps it is all the fresh fruit around at this time of the year and the idea of baking pies. Perhaps it’s because when I think of time over the course of week or month, I think of pie charts. However you slice it, the chunks of time we have to break down into smaller bits of time are the same for all of us; no matter who you are, how much you have to do or how many resources there are available to you, there are still 24 hours in a day.
How to Slice It
I mentioned last week the notion of both physical and emotional time. Here’s what that means; while you might have the time on the clock to do something, is there enough in your emotional bank of time to do it? Is it worth the emotional cost you’re likely to incur? And, this one is tough, is there enough physical time to recover from that emotional drain? Oftentimes we find the emotional connection to be very rewarding and worth every second of physical time. Other times…not so much.
When we are care-taking others it is important to know what your own limits are and where your skills lie. Since the topic is how to spend your time I’d suggest now is not the time to throw yourself into a steep learning curve. It does happen to us sometimes, but if possible stick to the areas you know; I prefer to delegate or hire out those tasks that are more difficult. This is one of those times when knowing yourself pays off.
Don’t Go Into Debt
In this case I’m not talking about finances ~ this is purely about being mindful to know what you need for yourself. A few nights of less sleep because you’re stretched thinly isn’t a huge problem but done over many nights is a very fast recipe for disaster. We do not make good decisions when we are sleep deprived. Let me say that again. We, as in you, me, your favorite person, simply Do Not Make Good Decisions Without Enough Energy In the Batteries. You’re not so special or unique that you can. You can’t. The brain is not wired for such abuse. There is no overdraft protection afforded you.
Variations on a Theme
There are as many ways to configure the time and spread out the workload as you can possibly imagine. There are families where siblings divvy up the tasks involved for an older parent based on skill set or proximity or days of the week. In other situations all may fall to one adult who would then outsource parts which don’t match their skill set. In one variation I know of, the tasks such as food shopping, cleaning and dry cleaning were doled out to online sources and friends who used the same dry cleaner.
In the end the bottom line is that however you need to slice the pie of time so it works for you is just perfect; this is one of those areas where no one gets to judge the decisions you (and your family) make. When it is their turn to make these decision then they can do what works for them. Don’t forget to schedule in time for yourself, your partner, your kids if you have them as well as time to re-charge. I promise, there’s more than enough time to do all that with a little planning.
Wising you all the best for the week ahead!