It’s that time of the year when people are just trying to keep their heads above water and may be both exhausted and frustrated. Because of that, it’s important to recognize and make adjustments wherever necessary in your life. It’s easy to get into the rhythm of things and even get the energy sucked at out of you. You may even find yourself dragging from disappointment, frustration, exhaustion or drama. While it’s easy to get tired, or even cranky, that’s perfectly normal! Don’t be afraid to recognize the current intensity you’re experiencing and employ some coping strategies. When you’re pressed for time, you must be proactive, strategic, and clear about how you spend each moment. Too often when things get hectic, we sacrifice our own needs so that everyone else’s can get met. Instead, minimize the things that don’t matter so that you can move through the rest of the year without surrendering your health or productivity.
Here are 7 tips – one for every day of the week – to help you get through that “crunch time” in your life”:
Tip #1: Clearly Communicate To Others That It Is ‘Crunch Time’
Let those who live with you and/or are impacted by your behavior know that your life may get hectic. Let them know you appreciate their support and understanding.
Tip #2: Lower Your Standards In Non-Essential Areas Of Life
Give yourself permission to be a slob. It’s okay. The point is to ask yourself: what can I let slide a bit without negative consequences?
Tip #3: Say NO To Ever Service Request until You Accomplish What It Is That You Need To Accomplish
If you are struggling to find time to complete all of the things on your to-do list, it makes no sense to add more items. In other words, when your time is scarce, one of the worst things you can do is to take on any additional responsibilities. Say “no” often, clearly, and without guilt.
Tip #4: Every Day Needs A Plan
Take 30 minutes on Sunday night to get your to-do list out of your head and onto a piece of paper. Then force yourself to place each of your tasks onto a specific time in your calendar. If you don’t have enough time for the tasks, then delegate them, re-negotiate the deadline, or let them go. This will help clarify your week & force you to make the tough decisions in advance. Then each morning, you only need to spend a few minutes reviewing the items you must complete for that day. This will keep you focused and confident that the truly important things will get done.
Tip #5: Eliminate Unnecessary Electronic Distractions
If you subscribe to any listservs, sign off until you have the time to actually keep up with them all. Listservs create lots of e-mail in your inbox, very little of which is critical information. While you’re at it, why not take a respite from all electronic time-wasters: Facebook, Twitter, television, etc.
Tip #6: Take Care Of Your Body
Exercise reduces stress. When I don’t have time to go to the gym, I opt for using the stairs instead of elevators in buildings, take quick walks at lunch time, or just put on some music for 20 minutes and dance, like I’m auditioning for “America’s Got Talent” (Lol!). Be creative! Whatever you need to do to get your heart rate up & your body moving will benefit you during crunch time.
Tip #7: End Every Day With Gratitude!
As each day comes to a close, take a moment to thank God for all the things that went well and affirm that everything in your life is working for your greater good.
I hope these tips give you some strength to get through your “crunch season”!