Sometimes, the speed of life and the speed of light seem synonymous. Just when you think you’ve got it all figured out in terms of scheduling and balancing your efforts, a new responsibility or curve ball is thrown your way. When life’s pace gets a bit too wild for your liking, how do you manage to keep all of the balls you’re juggling in the air?
For me, the solution is as simple as having a 10-day plan. Each time I feel like the days are moving at the speed of light, I make a concerted effort to institute 10 small changes, one day at a time, to slow things down and help ensure I’m tackling all of life’s challenges in a healthy, happy way. At the end of the 10-day period, I’ll often find that the small changes I instituted were so simple that I can easily repeat them again & again until they are part of my routine.
Much like with finances, making small, manageable changes to your daily routine and habits can have a huge, positive impact on your overall quality of life. In turn, this can help you smoothly navigate the roughest of scheduling and balancing waters. Here’s how I make the 10-day plan concept work for me:
Day One: Manage my sleep habits better.
Whether it’s going to bed 15 minutes earlier, practicing relaxation techniques before bed, or sleeping in 15 minutes later, I find a way to increase my amount of quality sleep.
Day Two: Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate.
I’ll make an effort to drink as much water as I comfortably can throughout the entire day. Staying adequately hydrated helps stave off headaches and fatigue so love your water!
Day Three: Manage my meals.
I make sure to have at least 3 quality meals or 6 quality mini-meals throughout the day; no matter what the timing may be (Hello, 3PM lunch hour!)
Day Four: Be fiber-licious.
I’ll incorporate one extra veggie and/or fruit in at least one of my meals.
Day Five: Find my Zen.
Or as I say, the Jen Zen Zone. Deep breathing, meditating for 5 minutes, stopping to actually smell the roses in the flower beds. Whatever it takes to chill out for even a minute or two.
Day Six: Manage social connections.
When I begin to work crazy hours, it’s really easy for me to throw socializing to the side. This effort on day six ensures I’m keeping my bonds strong. A text, an email, a short phone call; I make sure to reach out to one or more of my friends on this day.
Day Seven: Prioritize my responsibilities.
Perhaps that PowerPoint deck for next week’s meeting can actually wait until tomorrow. Maybe I don’t need to triage all of the 300 emails in my inbox. I’ll quickly figure out the must-dos for the day, finish those, and let the rest wait.
Day Eight: Get my exercise on.
This one is easy for me because I typically bike to/from work instead of driving. But on day eight, I’ll make sure to add something in addition to my daily bike rides. Abs, stretching, a quick run; they’re all fair game.
Day Nine: Daydream.
I’ll literally schedule in 10 minutes where all I’ll do is sit (outside is ideal if the weather is cooperating) and let my mind wander. You’d be amazed how refreshing this is and I highly suggest you try it–right now!
Day Ten: Take stock of my success.
I’m a firm believer in evaluating your mistakes AND successes. Make a quick list of all the wonderful things you’ve accomplished and post that list somewhere visible. Mine is usually a Post-It note on my bathroom mirror. I’ll re-read the list while I’m brushing my teeth as a quick way to remind, encourage, and motivate myself.
As you can see, none of these things require a ton of effort, time, or resources. None of them are rocket science and all of them can be stand-alone changes you make in your everyday life. Additionally, all of them are easy ways to help you feel more in control when life is hell-bent on sending you out of control.
What are some ways you manage to keep your balance when life seems to be moving at the speed of light?
Photo credit: winifredxoxo