Tuesday, April 12, 2011

making space

It has been tough for me to make time to write. I have been getting up every morning with my first intention being, "Today I am going to write a blog post." And then, this is what actually happens:

Alarm goes off, I hit snooze twice, then get out of bed. Depending on when I am supposed to be at work, I try to fit in a walk with the dog, some yoga and meditation, breakfast, shower, dress, pack my lunch, and grab my bags, and commute north. Work. Hit the gym. Come home. Shower. Dinner. Chill with The Man. Jump on Facebook (a.k.a. TimesuckBook), make my tea, read in bed, then lights out. All in all, a pretty full day, mixed with time for myself, exercise, silent space, and work. As I write this, I look at what's missing: SPACE.

Think Monopoly. Free space. Space to be spontaneous, creative, follow my heart's desire.

Last week, I attended a Time Management training for Supervisors. Before attending the training, I was getting frazzled-so much to do, so little time. To do lists were all over the place. I was getting stuff done, yet at the end of the day, I was like, "What the hell did I do today other than teach?" The Time Management training was beneficial for me to take a break, evaluate, go back to the drawing board, and revamp. I am implementing some new strategies from this training and at the end of the day, I am coming home less exhausted, feeling more productive, and able to leave work @ work.

Below are some eye opening revelations I had during & after the training:

-Don't check e-mail first thing in the morning. Pick your one big strategic task/must do/# 1 priority thing and do that in that first hour. It's like being an extreme skier: take your first big jumps early on. FIGHT THE URGE TO OPEN THE OUTLOOK/GMAIL/HOTMAIL.

-Put all your to-dos in one place. I started using an excel spreadsheet to input my task and priority level and then I print it, put it on my clipboard, and attack with a Sharpie. This way, I can look back at the end of the day, celebrate what I got done, and have a concrete plan for the next day. This is way easier thaN STICKY NOTE LAND.

-We are human beings that have lives and have jobs. We don't have a "work self" and "home self." Work/Life balance is sometimes easy to laugh at. "What's that?" most people say. In my training, my trainer told us the following: "Well, here's the deal. Take 100 people who only have a week left to live and ask them at the end of the week what they wish they would have done more of. 100% of them will not say, "I wish I could have worked more." BALANCE IS ABSOLUTELY ESSENTIAL TO SUCCESSFUL PEOPLE.

-We all have the same amount of time everyday. 24 Hours. Think about it: 8 hours of sleep (ideally), 8 hours of work, and 8 hours to enjoy being on the planet in whatever way you choose makes for a pretty happy life. Of course, we have obligations, emergencies, big projects. But instead of being a victim to the clock, take back control. Schedule things that are important to you: writing, gym, meditation, happy hours, baseball games, gardening. YOU ARE A PRIORITY AND DESERVE BLISS.

This past weekend, I cleared out my home office space/meditation nook/writing desk. It felt so good to let go of the old. When we purge, there is a certain energy that is being created-we make room for new. When we make the space, good things come.

I am starting a new little fun challenge on some of my blog posts called "Bliss-assignments." They are little questions that you can simply ask yourself and contemplate, journal on, or ask a friend. They are part of a bigger project I am working on which I am hoping to reveal by my 27th birthday on May 23rd. Stay tuned for more details!

Bliss-assignment this week: Where in your life can you make space? (physically, spiritually, mentally, scheduling, silence)

1 comment:

Debra said...

What a great piece on balance and making space. I am definitely going to put this into practice, Jen. I am trying to figure out this new life I have now and finding the balance is definitely an issue. Thanks for sharing. I definitely need to work on time management--I think all teachers struggle with this. As always I think you are terrific!! Debbie D.