With this perceived hastening of time, comes our sense of panic at not being able to fit everything we need to do into our day. How many of us dutifully sit down and draw up our To Do List, which we’ve been reassured is the key to organizing our lives and Getting Things Done, only to look at that list with a sinking feeling, realizing that there is too much list, and not enough us!
This leads us into the ever so popular coping strategy known as Multi-Tasking. Some tasks are ideal for multi-tasking: folding laundry while watching TV or chatting on the phone with a friend, unloading the dishwasher while your coffee brews. This is how to use multi-tasking effectively. How not to use this strategy? Telling your significant other “of course I can stop and pick up your dry cleaning on my way home”, when you have already committed to picking up the kids, stopping to grab takeout for dinner before the kids hockey practice, and dropping by Staples to pick up the brochures you ordered for your next show.
The reality is, there are a finite number of hours in a day, and you can only fit a finite number of tasks into them. Trying to do too much leaves you exhausted, irritable and stressed, which leads to a depressed immune system, and ultimately any number of illnesses, which will bring you to a full stop.
As entrepreneurs, we may be filling multiple roles: businessperson, wife/husband, mother/father, girl guide/Boy Scout troop leader, friend, daughter/son, and so on. With so many diverse responsibilities demanding our attention, it is very easy to get shoved to the bottom of the list of priorities. There is always something more important to do than take care of yourself.
This can’t continue indefinitely. Ask yourself:
Am I ways exhausted?
Am I irritable?
Do I constantly have a headache?
Do I catch every bug that comes my way?
Am I depressed?
Your body is trying to tell you something: I’m in distress!
If we don’t learn to carve out some time for ourselves in our schedule, time dedicated to keeping us strong and healthy through physical activity, meditation, or just downtime to recharge our batteries, eventually we will be accomplishing nothing, because our bodies will force us to shut down.
So, what’s it going to be? 30 minutes a day of “me time” (an hour would be better, but you have to start somewhere), or a week in bed because your depressed immune system couldn’t fight off that nasty flu that’s going around?