Do you ever feel frazzled and scatter-brained… like you’re searching for the ever-elusive “balance” but feel guilty whenever you try to take time for yourself?
We want to feel empowered to take control of our time, but life just feels too chaotic to do that! I was fortunate enough to sit down with Emily Nichols on her podcast, Self-Transformed, to talk about tips and strategies for doing just that on Ep. 160: Lose the Chaos and Overwhelm and Take Back Control of Your Time.
Let’s dive into our discussion!
Reasons We Feel Scatter-Brained + Solutions
Ever feel stretched so thin and completely scatter-brained, like you don’t even remember what you did today? It’s such a common feeling, especially for women who are balancing work and motherhood!
I wish I could pinpoint one cause so we could attack it… but when it comes down to it, it’s a combination of things:
- We Hate Saying “No”
First, it really starts with the fact that many of us really hate saying no.
Why? There are a few reasons:
- We don’t like letting others down
- We fear if we say no to an opportunity, that might result in less money, less prestige, or less future opportunities
- We are afraid we’re not showing up as a mom the way we want to, so we say yes in order to put a Band-Aid on it (ever sign up to make cupcakes for an event even though you have a huge meeting the next day?)
We all have unique reasons for saying yes to everything… but when we say YES to everything, whether it’s out of guilt or fear, we’re actually diluting the energy we can dedicate to the really good, self-transforming things we want to do!
All of a sudden, we realize our calendar is filled with other people’s priorities, because we’ve said yes to others before ourselves. So, we need to be unafraid to say “no.”
- We Don’t Have a System
The second reason we feel scatter-brained is we lack a system. I know a system doesn’t sound like the most fun thing in the world, but it’s true!
We need a system – meaning, we need a method for keeping track of all the things.
We try to keep everything in our heads, but we’re not made to hold on to lots of different pieces of information. Our brain has a preference for unfinished things.
So, when we start to think, “I really need to sign that permission slip,” or “I really need to make that doctor’s appointment,” those thoughts end up cycling in our brains over and over again until it’s complete and it drives us crazy… and this is why we feel frazzled!
So what’s the solution to this? Get it out of your brain and capture it somewhere! Some ideas:
- Have ONE place for your calendar to live. Some of us like digital calendars, others like paper planners, and others like both (me!)
- Be careful not to write your thoughts on random scraps of paper; before you know it, you’ll have 37 Post-It notes everywhere, and THAT doesn’t help either! Instead, try a trusty notebook that you can throw in your bag on the go.
- Set a reminder on your phone everyday at 4:45 that says “check the calendars” to ensure everything is set for the day.
The HEART Method and Balance
In the end, if you jump to moving things around on your calendar as the solution, you will never master time management and balance.
You first need to start with HEART. If you’re new here, you can read more about the HEART Method here.
After that, I believe work-life balance is a feeling and not a formula. You know when you’ve got it and when you don’t!
A big misconception is there’s stillness or calmness when you have balance. I’d like to smash that misconception!
The idea of balance makes me think of a ballerina. It looks like they’re gracefully balanced on one toe – but in reality, their foot is actually moving super fast. They’re making very small motions in a constant back and forth, finding balance and counterbalance.
That’s what balance is like. It’s not an end point. It’s a constant dance of asking yourself what’s most important to you, and making decisions about the different opportunities in your life so you can have the feeling of balance.
Balance is not an arrival point; it’s a feeling. It looks different for everyone and it might take you years to find! I know I’m still working at it now… and that’s ok!