Military spouses are superstars at multitasking, problem solving, and getting tons done. But, have you ever been so busy that you weren’t sure whether you were coming or going? Then when the dust finally settled, you hadn’t accomplished anything. That’s how I’ve been feeling lately. I was doing things that kept me busy, but I wasn’t being productive. We have become so used to multitasking that our efforts are becoming less efficient. Being busy without being productive is draining, both physically and mentally. Working when you’re exhausted makes you more easily distracted and less successful. Also, not having clear goals is a waste of time. Your goals don’t have to be an initiative to change the world or to acquire a million-dollar account. They should be achievable. Whether those goals short or long term, you should have a reason for why you spend time doing what you are doing.
Let’s talk about how you can schedule your days so that you feel productive and accomplished.
Plan Your Day with Purpose
Whether you use a dry erase calendar, your phone, or any other scheduler that keeps your priorities in the forefront, plan in a way that works best for you. If you’re like me, you need to have everything detailed out—your work, your workouts, and everything in between. I become easily sidetracked, so planning my day with breaks every couple of hours, or even choosing to have a shorter workday, helps me to stay focused for the duration of my work time. Finding work/life balance isn’t easy. You must know how and when you are your best. You can learn this through self-awareness. Pay attention to when you have higher energy or more creativity and match tasks that require those things to those times.
Schedule Time for You
Take time to get to know yourself—your likes, and dislikes. Make time for breaks that are effective in recharging you mentally and physically. If you work, try a five or ten-minute mediation for stress relief, or take a short trip outdoors. Go for a walk, or a ride. Have you ever noticed when you are in a stressful environment, upon your exit, that first breath of fresh air is so calming? Getting fresh air helps boost creativity and refreshes your memory. With the use of mindfulness activities like mediation, resting your physical body, and even zoning out, you can help stimulate your brain and even reduce stress. Vacay anyone? Taking a personal vacation is much needed for everyone, whether you’re a stay-at-home parent, an entrepreneur, or anyone whose life revolves around daily schedules and routines. Take time for you. Plan a vacation that is relaxing and invigorating.
Purge What’s Not Giving You Joy
Doing mundane tasks just to check the block shouldn’t be your life. Do things that make you happy. Yes, this even goes for work. I get it, we all have bills to pay. Being a butterfly collector on HGTV’s House Hunters doesn’t seem realistic, but doing something you love can be reachable! Having a job that is fulfilling helps us to achieve goals. If you are not where you want to be, what are you going to do about it? Now, don’t quit your day job, but do create a plan that will allow you to pursue your passion.
“Time is precious. Waste it wisely.”~K Bromberg
Marla Bautista, is a military spouse and a mother of three beautiful, talented, and clever children. She is an author, freelance blogger, and speaker. Volunteering within the community and telling the stories of the people who are often unheard is her passion. She is the Armed Forces Insurance 2018 and 2019 Military Spouse of the Year for Fort Drum.