By Ricki Harrison
I feel like most of my life I am rushing. Always on my way somewhere, always just not on top of it all, always a number of calls, emails, jobs and tabs open – probably too many to do at the same time.
Sometimes I feel like I am spinning plates in the air on those poles like a circus act, adding evermore plates but instead of the act finishing it goes on forever. Sound familiar?
I am a wife, a mum of 2 little boys, a friend, a business owner, a financial controller, a referee, a cleaner, a cook, a personal assistant, an exercise enthusiast, a gardener, a singer, an ‘I’d better put that appointment in my phone otherwise I wont turn up’-er.
In my nature, I bite off more than I can chew and then I chew like crazy. Most of the time I make it, but sometimes I don’t.
Last week I caught myself saying, ‘I just can’t fit that in, I’m so busy’. It’s not that I haven’t said that before, but I became really aware with how much I say it. Whether it is true or not is irrelevant, in our modern day we have a lot on our spinning plates. But am I truly so busy, or do I feel like that because everything moves at a faster pace? I have looked into and spent time in other cultures that work way more hours and have so much less than we do, and they do it with a smile.
So what can we do…?
Whinge? Check, currently doing that one.
Just suck it up and get on with it? OK, Maybe.
What about making a plan to try and help relieve that constant pressure?
Why not, hey?
Honestly it helps to have a plan, but as a spontaneous person, a little planning goes a long way.
So, here are my top 5 tips from one busy person to another, my advice and then my personal application.
- Find that area in your house that, once clean makes you feel like you are in control.
For me: I have an island bench in the middle of my tiny kitchen. I truly feel like if that is clean and clear, everything else is going to be OK!
- Choose a prep morning/afternoon/night to organise what you absolutely need to for the week ahead.Â
For me: Sunday sometime, usually afternoon is the time to make sure that the washing is up to date (or just the uniforms and undies!), the fridge is stocked and we are ready for the week ahead.
Where are the kids shoes and bags?
Do I have my clothes for my run or are they still smelly and laying beside the shower from 3 days ago (in my house a valid question)?
Do I need more training clothes?
You catch my drift right? You don’t have to organise the whole world or spring clean the whole house, but just make sure you take a moment to prepare, which makes everything else easier.
- Make lists. Cliched, but it works.
Get everything out of your head and onto a device or notebook that you can tick off as you go. It feels good! Like a fairy gets its wings every time I tick something off a list. De-cluttering your mind, and only focusing on the task at hand is revolutionary for the busy bee. Start a task, and finish it. Don’t start 20 tasks and finish none. Here’s a tool that works for me, I visualise a large chest of drawers, and whatever stage of my day I’m in, that’s what drawer is opened. When I’m finished with that time or task, it’s closed and I open the next drawer. What this does is help to compartmentalize my life, so that I don’t become overwhelmed by everything I need to do that day.
Whether it’s a gut busting training session, or a light jog, I find that if I raise my heart rate and break a sweat, I feel like I’ve conquered something and I’m in control of my body, and therefore in control of my life!
- Sacred Minutes. We need a disengagement moment.
Most of us feel like we’re too busy for time to ourselves. Like, who’s got time to patrol Instagram for 45 minutes and not also be cooking dinner, going over the weekly budget and doing a wee at the same time?
But let me tell you it’s possible to plan in 10 minutes just for you. And during those minutes you do what feeds your soul. Sit in the sun with a cup of coffee, or just let the shower run over your face for a little longer. It’s OK to set boundaries with your kids/spouse/business so that you get the time out that you need. Set these minutes in place at a time that works for you and do them everyday.
Side note, ever had a great idea on the loo? Studies have shown that distraction moments boost creativity and problem solving. Guess what, it’s science! Alpha waves are a signal in the brain that’s closely correlated with states of relaxation. And what scientists have found is that when people are relaxed, Alpha waves are stimulated which switches on those big ‘A ha!’ moments, those moments of insight where these seemingly impossible problems get solved. The key is distraction! Keep those minutes sacred.
- Pull together…
You are navigating life together, but you are the captain! Pull together and get the job done.
For me: My husband cooks dinner a few nights a week. He also makes breakfast most mornings so that we can all get out the door on time as I don’t get home from training most mornings until 6.30am. Our boys (through constant reminders) clean their room twice a week, or when it gets totally out of control (which, let’s be honest, is most days).
And sometimes, we have takeaway Thai food because it all doesn’t work or the chicken that you got out of the freezer went bad, or you got home too late or you are just too tired AND that’s OK!
- Have some time you DON’T plan
For me: I like to make sure at least half a day in the week I have no plans. Just to see what comes. That is tricky with kids, sport, washing etc. but is it super important for me that I feel like my whole life isn’t scheduled!
- We are all in this together
For me: Grab a bottle of wine and get together with some girlfriends every once and a while. Share stories of your everyday craziness and laugh about putting make up on only one eye and going to work all day (actually happened), or your kids getting your ‘most expensive skin care oil that you bought because you were feeling like the wrinkles were winning but you really couldn’t afford it and use it like it is made of our pure gold’, and put the whole lot in the bath one night (for real), or whatever. A problem shared is a problem halved and who doesn’t love a good belly laugh!
So, these are just some thoughts or tools that actually help in day-to-day life for me. And if they help you, awesome. And if reading this and it gave you a chuckle, then that is super cool. And if you take anything away from this, its that whatever you are feeling right now, at this very second, there is another one of us that has too – and they made it. They raised healthy kids, or paid their mortgage or navigated a tricky section of life.
And you will too.Â
Ricki is a passionate wife and mum at the helm of her family business, Nutra Organics. She is a toddler wrangling, recipe creating, clean eating, operations managing health advocate that believes in nutrition today for a healthy tomorrow.
Her 100% family owned and operated business,Â Nutra Organics, provides real, honest nutrition that not only tastes good, but is easy to incorporate into daily life. Growing from the spare room to a thriving double factory business is challenging and humbling but the life changing differences are evident, not just in her own family, but families around the nation.