How to Thrive in Busy Seasons
There are those seasons of life that are incredibly busy. These seasons have the potential to chew us up and spit us out, but you can learn to thrive in them.
I am currently in an incredibly busy season of life. Just sitting here writing this post makes me think of the millions of other things I have to do. We have a large initiative at the church I lead, I am preparing for outside speaking engagements, I’m having some issues with an investment property, and more. I know that many of you reading this are just as busy as I am, if not more.
If I am not careful this busy season will really wear me out, and this has in fact happened to me in the past. Luckily, there is a better way.
One of the busiest seasons of my life was two years ago. I was completely overwhelmed. One day I was on the phone with my coach, and he really helped me put things into perspective. He essentially let me know that I may not be able to accomplish everything on my list, but I needed to ask myself what 3-5 things if done with excellence would be enough.
My desire is to help you navigate this season of overwhelm by doing a few necessary things.
1. Say yes to priorities.
You need to discover what your priorities are in this season. Take a moment to write down what the most important things are that need to be done.
One of my favorite books on the subject of priorities is Essentialism, by Greg McKeown. In that book Greg states, “If you don’t prioritize your life, someone else will.” I don’t believe that you want someone else choosing your priorities for you.
In order to help you decide your priorities, use the Steven Covey quadrant to help you decipher what is most important. Over time you will be able to do this without having to use the quadrant, as it will become second nature to you.
2. Say no to things that are not priorities.
When things are busy we can get tired and our decision-making skills will not be as sharp. During busy seasons you have to be especially careful what you say yes to.
Your time is a limited commodity, as there are only so many hours in the day. Because of this, every time you say yes to one thing you are saying no to something else. So, by saying yes to one thing, you may be saying no to your family, sleep, or finances.
When you get a request from someone and you know it’s not a priority, you can simply tell them that in order to be faithful to prior commitments you have to say no. If it’s your boss, you may have to tell them that yes, you can do this, but then ask which other task they want you to give up.
3. Say yes to rest.
Many times you may sacrifice rest when times are busy. Do yourself a favor and say yes to a good night’s sleep. Now, this may look different for you than others, but get enough sleep. If you get adequate sleep you are less likely to be stressed, and people will want to be around you more. If you are like me, you get a little grumpier when you have not rested enough.
You may think that you get more done by working late into the night, but studies show that sleep deficit is a productivity killer. So, unless you are part of the sleepless elite, get a minimum of seven hours of sleep.
Give yourself a clear time of when you need to be in bed by, and don’t slowly let it slip.
By giving yourself some clarity on what should actually be done during this season, you give yourself liberty to say no to the wrong things, and yes to the right things. You will be less overwhelmed and stressed out, sleep better, and won’t neglect your family or health as much. If you do these things you can thrive during this season instead of simply surviving.
I know there are more tips that you can add to this conversation, and I would love to hear from you in the comments below.