I’ve had to dial back my work here on the blog the last week or so, and that trend will continue through May, because I am in one of the busiest two-month stretches of my life, if not the busiest two-month stretch of my life.
I am amidst the last two months of master’s work (I graduate in May, praise!); I have my day job; I am helping with church projects; I am doing a significant amount of contract work/writing; I am finishing a 30,000-word book manuscript; I am traveling a lot for work and for fun; people are visiting; we’re getting a dog.
Suffice to say, the blog is firmly placed on the back burner. I hope to get a post a week up here for the next couple of months.
Please don’t feel bad for me; that’s not my goal here. I am sure many of you reading this have much busier lives than I do, especially if you have kids. So, I am not looking for sympathy.
It just sort of hit me last week how busy the next couple of months are. I have had a few seasons in recent years like this, and it just requires me to flip the switch into a higher gear.
Here are three thoughts amidst a busy season of life about handling busy seasons of life:
1. Take time to have fun/rest each day (not including sleep).
This is perhaps the most important intentional step I have had to take in busy seasons like the one I’m currently in. I would be able to get a lot more work done if I made myself grind out work projects, school work, and blog posts for 12-15 hours per day. But, because a lot of the work I’m doing is “creative” and not punching numbers into a computer or other more rote tasks, the quality of my work really drops off if I push myself to “get more done.” While I may be able to get more work completed and more items checked off of lists, the quality of work is ultimately going to be subpar.
The quality of my work is much better if I take an hour or two to do something mindless—playing video games, working out, or reading a book unrelated to school work. Right now, I’m really into Overwatch and Stardew Valley on PS4.
If you’re in an extremely busy season, you may benefit from building in time to relax or disengage from your work. I definitely benefit from this.
2. Get into that next gear when at your desk.
Beside the fact that I don’t have kids, how am I able to make time to work out or play video games? It’s about throwing yourself into that next gear when you’re at your desk. You have to make the most of the time you have at your desk.
I am no productivity expert or guru or anything, and I haven’t read any of their books, but I know enough to know that we’re all distracted by stuff all day, every day. I work in social media and sort of have to keep an eye on social media every day as part of my job. This makes getting non-social media tasks done somewhat difficult.
When I am in seasons like I am right now, I spend much less time monitoring social media and much more time with my nose in whatever tasks I have to juggle. While monitoring social media is a significant part of my job, researching social media best practices and updates is also a big part of my job. In seasons such as this, I have to dial back the amount of research I do as well. I don’t like doing that, because I love researching and learning, but sometimes it needs to be paused for a bit.
In busy seasons, you would benefit from taking time to rest, and the way you’re able to do that is by making the most of the time you have at your desk.
3. Eat well and continue exercising.
This is a difficult discipline to maintain at any time, but in busy seasons especially. Busy seasons tempt us with quick, unhealthy food, and an hourlong workout doesn’t get any tasks checked off the to-do list, so it seems unnecessary.
Even amidst the current busy season I am in, I have managed to eat salads most days for lunch instead of fast food or other unhealthy options, and I have found a way to get on my treadmill at least three times per week.
I am by no means a nutritionist or a personal trainer, but I know that I am more productive and efficient when I am eating well and getting exercise on at least a semi-regular basis. It just makes me feel better and, I think, gives me more energy as the day goes on (though, I do often crash right at about 10pm on the days I workout).
I hope this has been helpful for you. I know any of my friends who have kids will read this and laugh at how much free time I have and at the fact that I think my life is busy. But, I am sometimes asked how I manage to get everything done that I need to get done, and these are the three basic rules I follow.