It’s easy to let your schedule run your life and live going from task to appointment to chore in a way that can feel scattered, rushed + reactive. Some of the time it’s okay to swim in the river that way, letting it carry you along as you do what needs to be done in the moment.
However, that kind of go-with-the-flow approach, when not done mindfully, can lead to certain kinds of important things getting little to none of your time and attention. Things you really care about more than anything else can end up accidentally, perpetually on the bottom of your list.
What’s On the Bottom?
Some things that I’ve noticed sink down into the murk at the bottom, for myself and my clients:
- Creativity, hobbies
- Long-term professional development/continued education/business activities
- Organizing tasks that take far longer if they get too behind
- Alone time, for those who value it
- Nurturing of marriage/partnership
- Friendship + social support
- Space for spontaneity
- Making home feel beautiful
- Eating well, exercising and other body care that can be time-consuming
- Things that feel good and nourish the self, but seem “unproductive”
- Important but not urgent life stuff: wellness check-ups, home maintenance, proactive financial planning and so on
There will always be more dishes in the sink, more laundry to fold, more emails to answer. Trust me, I know. Sometimes, it’s okay to let these things wait. To trust that they will still be there when you are ready for them instead of promising yourself that you’ll get to the other things as soon as you’re “caught up” on the everyday, ever-expanding effluvia of the ordinary.
You will never be caught up. What if that’s okay? What could you be doing differently if you were to decide that you are already caught up enough?
Crafting Sacred Containers
I find letting go of the little stuff easier when I create sacred containers to hold time + energy for my deeper priorities. Creating sacred containers sounds pretty spiritual, and it can be if you want to look at it that way. But I’m really talking about something that looks way more mundane: setting aside, and honoring, chunks of time on your calendar.
Making appointments for yourself. Time for the things you care about. Time when it’s unlikely that you’ll be interrupted… meaning, your kids are reliably asleep or someone else is the primary on-point person for them. Time when you have decent odds of having enough energy to make use of the time you’ve set aside. Time for you, for your non-kid priorities. For things as mundane as catching up on your filing or planning a home project, to things as magical as spending some time on your favorite hobby or catching up with a friend without side-conversations.
These appointments with yourself sanctify + make real the things that matter to you. Because when you are a busy parent, you find that time +energy for these things will only rarely arise by coincidence.
Root yourself in your own needs. Clear + hold space, and take responsibility for making true + mindful use of it when the space arrives. It’s worth it.
How Will You Create Space?
You don’t need, and indeed you should not, schedule every minute. Start small. Plan and set some time aside. Step into the space. Make the things that matter happen.
My challenge to you: Identify the project or passion that’s calling most deeply for more time, energy + love from you.
Can you add to this week’s calendar a commitment to engage in this single activity or move this one project just a bit forward? It can be an hour or two. It can be fifteen minutes. Whatever feel like the right amount of gentle stretch to you.
Make the space, and see it through. It’s an amazing gift to yourself… and to the world.
Want to learn more about Making Time? Join my e-letter to get all the latest + greatest updates on my upcoming (but not quite titled) e-course this fall about how to make time. Because I want to live in a world where we all hold space for ourselves + our deepest magic.