Managing Busy Lives

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Managing a busy life can be useful as hectic lives are very common nowadays as we try and fit more and more in. We often find we have to juggle multiple responsibilities in life.  Resulting in us spreading ourselves too thinly. We then criticise ourselves for not being ‘perfect’ and feel guilty that we are not managing to keep pace with life.

Every day seems so busy

A busy day can start with breakfast and cajoling kids to get ready for school. You need to make sure they’ve got everything they need for the day: packed lunch and PE kit. And money for the school trip (that was probably due in several days ago). You bundle them into car and then into ‘Breakfast Club’. Then follows around an hour of sitting in traffic jams.

You reflect and feel guilty about having your little ones up, dressed and out of the house before 7.30am.  You list all the things you could be doing with this otherwise unproductive time. Eventually you rush through the door at work, approximately 2 minutes late.  You feel guilty about NEVER getting to work on time.  And all this before 9am!

Of course your day doesn’t finish at the end of the workday.  You struggle through the traffic again to pick the kids up from ‘After School Club’.  You get increasingly anxious that you won’t get there before they close. Once the kids are safely in the car you move on to thinking about cooking for the family.  Then there’s helping with homework, and trying to make an outfit for World Book Day, Comic Relief, or the School Play that you’ve just been remind of.  Once home, you remember that you promised your parents that you would pick up the bag of compost they need three weekends ago.  Your best friend calls in tears as her marriage is going through a sticky patch.  And you miss the yoga session that you promised yourself you would do to help with relaxation. Oh, and your neighbours are on holiday, you said you would put heir bin out and you forgot.

When you look at those around you, you are convinced that everyone else seems to have busy lives but they are managing well.  They always appear so calm and in control.  Does this sound familiar?

Tips on Managing a Busy Life

  • Sometimes it can help to take a step back from busy lives.  Think about the amount that you try to fit into each day, the ‘promises’ you make to others and the things that you take on.
  • Are your daily goals realistic? Think about how much you can honestly achieve in a day and try not to overload yourself. By avoiding unrealistic expectations of yourself you may feel less busy and less stressed.
  • Try using a family planner.  Break your ‘to do’ list down into manageable goals. Nudge your kids every few days and ask if there’s anything they need this week – money for trips, costumes and charity PJ days at school etc. Is there anything that you could share with family or friends – school pick-ups, borrowing dress up clothes etc.
  • Don’t be afraid to ask for help. If you don’t ask, friends and family may never know the best ways to pitch in.
  • When busy lives become overwhelming, try prioritising goals. Focus on accomplishing the things that are most important, and then spend time, if you have any, on the things that are not as urgent. If important tasks drop unexpectedly into your day, reschedule something that is less important.
  • Plan ahead if you can. If you know you’ll be working late, prepare your evening meal in a slow cooker, or make a meal plan for the week. Get your clothes (and the kids’ clothes), packed lunches and breakfast things organised the night before, so you won’t feel as rushed in the morning.
  • Think about self-care. If you’re running on empty you can’t be there for others! Consider time for you, particularly at mealtimes, make good nutrition food choices at every meal time to keep your energy levels high. Make some time to relax, take a long soak in the bath, read a book or go for a walk. Take a look at our Self-care Guide for more ideas.

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