Brace For The Best
Updated: May 13, 2019
I am approaching a seriously busy May. So busy, all I want to do is think about June and what it will feel like to be done with May. I want a time machine so that I can skip over May and just lose that month. How do we brace for the busy moments in life and embrace the good parts? How do we best cope? The bad news here is that no matter how we handle it, May will proceed. But maybe that is the good news. May will come and go, indifferent to our antics. So why not enjoy it, with all of it's drama and busy-ness? Don't we owe it to ourselves to at least try?
1. Get enough sleep. My recent pattern of logging between 2-5 hours of sleep per night are just not cutting it. I blame 95% of it on jet-lag from our Spring Break voyage to Japan, but there were distinct moments when I knew I should just be heading to bed and I didn't because I thought I would be able to get more done if I just stayed up later. What actually ends up happening is that while I stay up later, the quality of my output is significantly compromised, and I would have been better served to just call it a day and start fresh with more sleep to boost productivity the following day. Sleep is the foundation for ensuring that all days, busy or not, are approached with reasonable decisions, rational thought, and adequate amounts of reflection. When we rob ourselves of sleep we rob ourselves of the opportunity to enjoy the most from each day. So don't just get enough sleep - sleep.
2. Plan it out. Plan the month ahead. Then plan the week ahead. Then plan the day ahead. Include everything you can think of, along with the kitchen sink. Meals, too. Then, when the inevitable happens, you are ready to right the ship. I think planning just helps me feel more in control. I can see the crazy on the page. I know what to expect. I don't feel like I'm forgetting anything important. And I can feel accomplished when that day is in the books.
3. Keep it in perspective. It is just a busy stretch. It neither defines you or determines your long-term trajectory in life. And, as referenced in an earlier post, being so busy you can't stand it is a sign that you are living a full life. I realize that it might be full of things you feel obligated to do as opposed to things that fully enrich your soul, but full is always better than empty. And fundamentally, we make choices every day about how we fill our lives so gaining perspective here might also mean learning to make better choices about what we say "yes" to and what we are going to do about it the next time around.
4. Don't be afraid to ask for help. Everyone needs helps every now and again. We mistakenly believe that asking for help is a sign of weakness but I find great strength in knowing that others have my back. There really can be too much to do in one day. There really can be too many places you are supposed to be at one time. Distribute the tasks and get over any feelings of inadequacy because of it. Let help live up to its name.
5. Let it be good enough. Let you be good enough. Let yourself do your best and move forward, without feeling like a do-over is needed. Perfection during our busiest times is undue pressure. It doesn't feel good. And it doesn't really matter. Unless you are a heart surgeon - then please, above all else, be perfect so that your patient can thank you! But otherwise, get it done the best you can. And be proud of what you plowed through.
Instead of bracing for the worst, brace for the best. Decide to live it fully and honestly. Decide that it can be done. And just do it.