There’s No Trophy for Winning the Busy Race

busyraceThere was a time in my life when I took pride in the fact that I could do many things at once. I remember wearing my baby in a sling around my chest while bathing my other two children, making dinner and talking to my sister on the phone one night. All. At. The. Same. Time. I thought I was SuperMom!

How delusional was I? I don’t know when it started but somewhere in my early adulthood I adopted the belief that I needed to be busy at all times. And that accomplishing more “things” in a day was a sign of success. So I embraced the challenge and taught myself how to multi-task in an effort to win the “busy” race I had unintentionally entered.

Eventually, like most women, I learned the truth. That there is no trophy for winning the “busy” race. In fact, there’s not even a finish line to cross. The multi-tasking woman simply feeds on her own accomplishments and continues to get busier and busier until she falls apart.

And that’s what happened to me. I eventually fell apart. Physically, spiritually and emotionally. It wasn’t pretty, but it was the wake-up call I needed to drop out of the race and find some balance in my life.

If you’re like me, then you struggle to find balance because the edges of your different worlds collide all day long. You flip flop from your role as a mom or wife or friend to your role as a speaker or ministry leader or business owner. You go back and forth all day long, changing metaphorical hats more frequently that you check your email. You multi-task as a means of survival. It’s a dizzying existence. And exhausting!

For me, the solution has been setting boundaries. When I create boundaries around my time I gain a little bit of control and a lot of clarity. I can’t say I’ve achieved perfect balance – in fact, I’m probably still way too busy. But I’ve developed a few habits that help keep me on track:

  1. Set regular work hours. Even if they change every week, it’s important to know when you’re working and when you’re with family.
  2. Identify office space. If you work from home, try to create a specific space that’s only for work. Then you can leave it behind when you walk away from the space.
  3. Don’t answer work calls, texts or emails on personal time. And don’t do personal errands or make personal calls on work time.

They might sound like simple solutions but I promise they are easier said than done. I admit I still have a long way to go. But I’ve come a long way since my baby-wearing, toddler-bathing, dinner-making SuperMom days!

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