Are You Overscheduling Yourself?

With your mail box filling up, never-ending list of errands and all of the social and family obligations you’ve got, do you feel overwhelmed?  Like you can’t breathe and never have time for yourself?

It’s probably because you’re overscheduling yourself.

And it’s an easy habit to fall into – you’ll just add one more thing to your to-do list, schedule one more meeting on a Thursday night (even though you were hoping to get that long, overdue haircut) and you just couldn’t say no to helping a friend organize her basement!

It can especially be a problem at this time of year when you’ve got to shop and cook, a house to clean, cards to send, events to go to… it seems endless.  And really, all you want to over the holiday break was relax, go to the movies and order dinner in a couple of nights.

Women especially feel obligated to do certain things, to live up to people’s expectations (even if it’s just an illusion) and guilty if they don’t.  It often takes us to totally burn out in order to take time out for ourselves.

We’re a stubborn bunch sometimes.

I say, it’s time to take back time for yourself, because as you’ve been told time and again, you cannot give to others if you’re completely depleted.  And really, you’re the one in charge of your schedule, so you’ve got to be the one to say when enough is enough.

This year, be sure to:

– schedule yourself into your day

– take time before and after work to do something that you enjoy

– do something just for you every once in a while

– look over your calendar and make sure that there are blank squares every once in awhile

-do something that feels indulgent (but really isn’t at all) like hanging out in your PJs for the day or going to a matinee

– think about what makes you happy and do more of that

– be who you’ve always wanted to be.

I know it seems hard, but it is possible!  Just try it a step at a time and you’ll see that it will get easier the more you do it.

You’ve just got to start.

Why not right now?!

Stephanie Dickison is the author of the recent book, The 30-Second Commute: A Non-Fiction Comedy About Writing & Working From Home, which covers her career as book, music and restaurant critic.  She has been a journalist for over a decade and now spends much of her time writing about travel, food, beauty, style and celebrities for various publications and websites.

When she’s not writing, she’s eating, cooking, organizing, filing, making lists in sumptuous notebooks (you must use your beautiful journals) and colour-coding her ever evolving calendar.

She is one of the few writers still using technology AND paper.  But at least her paper is organized into pretty file folders…