Have you ever had a day get off to a rough start, and you felt behind all day? Maybe your coworker rushed into your office before you’d had a chance to check your email, upset and needing your immediate assistance. Your plans for the day get all thrown off, and you may feel like control of your time and activity perpetually eludes you. Anything here sounding familiar? How did you respond? Are there things you and I can do in these circumstances to not only get through the day, but actually thrive? How can we take such a day and still use the time to make progress towards the growth we want and the goals we’re pursuing?
What Truly Must Be Done?
If you’re anything like most of us, you have some daily habits and routines that feel like they’re essential. For example, I usually check my email messages in the mid-morning then head up to the coffee machine for a tasty brew. Although these are my typical habits, they aren’t absolutely necessary, and on days where large unexpected demands fall on me, they can be jettisoned. The key when stuff is flying at you is to stay clearheaded and in control. Even if people around you are getting frantic, take five minutes to get away. Use this time to identify the three most important priorities that must happen before the end of the day, and write them down in order.
Forgo the Unnecessary First
Once you’ve put out the preverbal fire, get going on your first priority right away. Taking back control of our day is going to involve forgoing some of our usual routine, but often this is what it takes. Unfortunately, some days there is simply more to be done than can possibly fit. Rather than running frantically from one task to the next, and spending our whole day out of control, we can be intentional and spend our time first on the most important things, and since something will fall through the cracks, let’s choose the lowest priority task to be the one.
Resist the Couch
Finally, on days like these, when you finally finish your work, get home and eat, clean up and do whatever chores need doing, we face the last challenge of the day: the temptation to neglect our personal growth and pursuit of our goals. On a day that was particularly hectic, I probably didn’t get a workout in, and I’d really like to lounge on the couch and watch a show for twenty minutes before bed. I probably don’t feel like reading, connecting with my spouse, or spending time in the Word and in prayer with my Heavenly Father. Now is where I have a choice: do I throw in the towel for the day, or do I commit to doing these vital activities that will cause me to grow and move closer to my goals?
Don’t Forgo the Important
Never underestimate the difference a small amount of focused activity can make in your life when practiced daily. I can absolutely and personally attest to the huge difference that even a four-minute workout can make to one’s fitness and health. Many times in my life, I’d succumbed to the easy solution after a hard day at work, and plopped down on the couch. When a one- or two-day break from my exercise regimen turned into a four- or five-day break, I found I paid a heavy price on the day I finally did make it back into the gym. But I have since learned that even a very quick workout—perhaps nothing more than a few minutes of pushups (pushing myself as fast and hard as possible) can get my blood moving, my muscles and lungs working, and can sustain me until the next day when I can get a full workout in. It seems like such a small thing that it couldn’t possibly matter, but it truly does. And the same goes for my other habits in contributing to my growth. Maybe I only read 8 pages of a good book when I’ve had a super busy night. But I can focus on learning to the best of my ability during the short period of time, and the benefits are undeniable.
As the following article suggests, remember to be grateful: https://www.positivehealthwellness.com/beauty-aging/9-self-care-tips-will-help-become-confident/ Sometimes when we get busy, we are apt to forget to be grateful for the many incredible blessings we enjoy. Take the time to thank God for the many wonderful things He has given you–and you might step back into your day with an entirely different perspective.
Chose to avoid statements like, “I just don’t have time to work out,” or, “I’d love to read good books, if only I had the time.” Let’s all make a commitment to each other never to waste our time speaking such nonsense—just use the time you’re saving by not spewing such ignorance to be that four-minute workout, 8-pages of reading, or time of prayer. These are the building blocks we use to build our thriving life, and I thank you for coming with me on this journey of growth together!