But what if your life is too full? What if every moment of your day is spoken for and there is no time left for you? Then reframing what is happening might not be the answer. Maybe taking a look at how you are actually filling your days will help you to remove the feeling of overwhelm. I have done the following exercise with dozens of women and they have always loved the experience. It is simple but it offers a wealth of information about how you are spending your time.
Awareness is the first step to making changes. So let's take a look at how you spend your twenty-four hours each day. Draw a large circle. Divide it into 24 pie-shaped segments. Then begin filling in the segments, using different colors to represent how your spend your typical day. How many segments are spent sleeping? How many do you work? How much time is spent commuting to and from work? How much time do you spend with your children? How many hours a week do you volunteer, clean, do laundry or cook. Everyone's graph will look different. Do you have a space for Facebook, blogging, painting, writing, exercising, church etc.? Is there time represented for socialization? You may find that the reason you are overwhelmed is that there are actually not enough hours in the day to do all that you have committed yourself to do.
So now for the hard part. Draw a second graph. On this graph begin to make small changes. Maybe spend 15 minutes a day less on TV or Facebook and spend 15 minutes more writing or painting. Maybe there is something that you have volunteered to do that no longer interests you. Could you give up your spot so someone else could take on the opportunity which would then give you the time to do something that is calling your name at this time. I have worked with women who have made graphs for Monday through Friday and one for Saturday and Sunday. It helped to see in color what their days really looked like. One woman realized that she was working 12 hours a day. She cut it back to 10 giving herself 2 extra hours a day to spend with her daughter. She kept her graph in front of her each day at work as a reminder to go home.
Your graph will never be perfect but by making small changes you can get it to look more like you want it to look. It might change by the season or the month. It is important to reevaluate your graph often so that you are in charge of your time and spend it the way that feels best to you. Remember with awareness comes power. It is in your power to make small changes so that you don't feel overwhelmed. It is in you power to create the life you want to live. Give yourself a gift this week. Take a few minutes to see how you are spending your day. Then begin to make tiny changes so that you can begin to live the life you want to live!
If you have any questions about this exercise, please don't hesitate to contact me. I always love to talk to people about their lives and their projects.
When you share your talents and dreams with the world, magic happens. Let the magic begin!