Stung by the Busy Bee – Managing Priorities

Busy Bee

Our lives are a world of chaos with family, work and everything else in between.  Being busy does not always mean you are accomplishing or progressing to complete a goal.  Maybe you feel like you are sacrificing your priorities and goals for others.  While is certainly normal for expectations and plans to be disrupted, having a plan instead of simply reacting to things will help you regain your focus.

By tossing all your priorities and tasks up into the air, you are imposing stress on yourself.  By juggling the stress each day, you hope to finally make progress.  Unfortunately, hoping without a having a plan will keep you going in circles.

Here are two easy ways that together will help you to avoid “squirrel syndrome” and to work toward the possibility of accomplishing your goals and priorities:

Give all of your priorities a deadline date.  Sure, this date can be adjusted, but only when it is absolutely necessary.  A date scheduled next to a priority keeps it in front of other tasks that are not currently a priority.

Schedule time to complete your daily priorities.  When is your day less hectic?  Can you find time and a place where you can focus and make progress toward your goals?  To keep from feeling overwhelmed, schedule in small increments of time, such as for 30 minutes at a time.  Remove the distractions long enough to make a fully focused effort toward progress or completion of your goal.

If you keep moving or putting off a priority, you should reassess that priority.  How important is it?  Do you want to achieve the priority, or are you just avoiding it?

The reality of Life has us going in many directions.  We are making thousands of decisions each day.  Some are automatic and routine, while other decisions can be impulsive or need time to ruminate.

If, at the end of the day, your goals and priorities were, once again, put off and not accomplished, I recommend that you create a plan; one you will promise yourself to keep.  I promise that getting into the habit of scheduling and achieving your plan will help you make progress toward your goals, and you can avoid being stung by the busy bee.

Out of Balance

stretchedDear Coach Chris,

I can’t say no.  I am fairly new to the community and wanted to make friends as quickly as possible.  So, I volunteered to support several non-profits and joined two community boards.  I have been embraced and accepted by all the very friendly people in this small town.  I know I am making an impact helping all the different non-profit groups.  They are always telling me how much they appreciate my support. There is always a fundraising event or an ongoing project to help the community.  My problem is I can’t say no.  My schedule is overbooked because I agree to everything.  I am married and have two children who are (or should be) my priority.  BUT it seems now I have scheduled myself into a corner.  I don’t want to let down my family and continue to make them second.  I feel guilty and sad.  I have missed school events my children have participated in.  I have missed family dinners when we used to talk about our day. At the same time, I also do not want to disappoint all of people I promised to support. I try to spend time with my family but now my outside obligations are starting to conflict with family priorities.  My partner tries to support the best they can and has expressed they miss our family time. My schedule is out of control and I have been stretched to my limit.  I do not want to break any promises and disappoint the non-profits and community boards.  At the same time I also miss family.  Where and how do I find balance?


Stretched Thin

Dear Stretched Thin,

I would first like to thank you for your service as a volunteer.  I know your community does appreciate all of your support.  BUT at what sacrifice?  It is easy for a caring person like you to want to help everyone.  You mentioned family should be your priority.  I agree.

So, where do you start to reorganize your time and your life?  As much as volunteers are needed, it is up to you who you volunteer for and how much time you choose to dedicate. I recommend you sit down with your family and create a weekly or monthly schedule.  Within that schedule, you can identify all of your family priorities. Is it possible to include your family in some of the non-profit events?  You will also see how and where you can fit your volunteer time into the family schedule.  Your family will see you have their best interests first.  I know non-profits are very grateful for any volunteer who chooses to help.  I am sure they will also understand your family needs are your priority.  Once again I want to thank you for being you.  The best Parent, Spouse and Volunteer.

Bounce back to your priorities,

Coach Chris