Hey there and welcome back to the blog! I hope you are having a great week so far! Finals are either about to come up, or you’ve already started them, and I am so sure that you are killing them!
I am writing this blog because it’s a question I get a lot and ya know might as well hop on my little blog thing to share all my knowledge!
“Lilly, how the heck do you balance everything in your life without getting stressed out?!”
“How are you so calm, there’s so much going on in your life!!”
“Please teach me to time manage”
Well here I am, to spill all my secrets about how I time manage, how I keep so calm and how I manage to not get overwhelmed even with so much on my plate.
***Disclaimer: These are all things I have learned over the last couple months in school. I used to freak out all the time till I learned how to do the things I am about to share with ya. Okay. You can keep reading now.
1. PRIORITIZE PRAYER TIME, LIKE, FOR REAL
I know this one seems like a total no brainer but how many times do we wake up, get halfway through the day all irritated and realize, “oh, I haven’t actually prayed today, I’ve just complained at God”. I used to do this all the time, until I started school again and realized that if I didn’t take the time to pray as soon as I got up and on my way to school, then I wasn’t gonna make it. Not kidding. There were a handful of days over the semester when I opted for sleeping that extra 30 minutes rather than praying and oh man did it screw up my whole day. When Jesus is telling his disciples how to pray he says, “lead me not into temptation, but deliver me from evil” and what good does it do us to pray that at the end of the day, when we have already chosen sin and rebellion against God? When we’ve already chosen to succumb to the stress and anxiety of life? Part of putting out armor on for the day, spiritually that is, is praying! It’s praying the Lord’s prayer, it’s spending that time with God so we can think like him, act like him and react to the temptation to give into anxiety as He would. To be like Jesus, we gotta spend more than 5 minutes with him a day. Dig into the word girl, prayerfully journal and cry out to your papa, God. I’ll step off my soapbox now hahaha.
2. GET IN THAT PLANNER
I am not kidding on this one y’all. Because of my crazy schedule, I can’t afford to miss a beat. So I invested in a good planner that works for me. I try to plan out everything at least a month in advance. I know, some of you think I am a freaking psycho for planning things so far in advance but hear me out: When you plan out everything you have to do a month in advance, you can see where you’ll have time for extra stuff. Planning in advance has kept me from double booking myself so much and having the visual of what all needs to get done, it makes it easier to say no to things when I need to. I can’t do all the things, and as my favorite blogger, Jordan Lee Dooley said it, “It's not your fault that you can’t do everything, but it is your fault for trying.”
We live in an age where we feel so much guilt if we have more than two seconds of free time, we fill up our schedules so much that we end up stretching ourselves way too thin, we get burnt out quick, and then were not useful in any area. Planning in advance and seeing what you need to do gives a visual aid for what you can add on, and what you may need to take off your plate.
3. MY NO STRESS POLICY
I told myself that this semester, I wasn’t gonna stress out. No matter what happened, I am not gonna stress, I am not gonna freak out and ya know what? It worked. I had my small moments, but nothing major. I kept my cool, when I started to feel overwhelmed, I would walk away for a little while, the come back and finish what I needed to do. However, this no stress policy also requires you to not put yourself in a situation of intense stress, such as the repercussions of procrastination. Do your work and then everything else. When I’d see that I had homework to do, I would just do it. Right then and there. I wouldn't pick up my phone or check social media till it was done. I did the work, one thing at a time and then the next thing, all step by step, one thing at a time. With this comes taking everything just one thing at a time. When I am at work, I am at work. When I leave, I stop thinking about work. I leave work at work. When I am doing my homework, that's my focus and I don’t divide my attention between many things. Once I am finished with all the homework that I need to get done, I stop thinking about school. I leave school in the time bracket that I have allotted for homework. You get the point. One thing at a time, boo boo.
4. DOING PRODUCTIVE THINGS IN MY FREE TIME
At night I know we all get caught in the scroll hole of instagram and facebook and I found myself wasting so much time and feeling really terrible about myself. So, I replaced that time with reading and calling Noah to pray at the end of the night. I’ve started finishing books in a few days rather than weeks and I feel at peace when I go to sleep, my mind isn’t worried about everyone else, I stopped giving the enemy a foothold in me right before I go to sleep and I started smacking him in the head with my talks with my Daddy at the end of the night. Getting off social media at night will make such a huge difference in how you sleep and how you feel. Trust me, try it.
5. SMALL, REALISTIC LISTS
I make very small, very realistic lists of what I am going to do that day, and I typically get all that information from my planner and I’ll add some small things to do around the house. It feels good to write out what you gotta do and it feels even better to check off that you got the things done. I used to make really long, overly ambitious lists and then get overwhelmed and feel disappointed in myself when I couldn’t finish it all. Small lists have helped my confidence and helped me better use my time by prioritizing the important stuff.
Truthfully friends, that’s it. It takes a lot of discipline but it’s so worth it to take action steps to make the most of the time you have! It can be so easy to give into anxiety and freak out but we gotta tell the enemy no and not accept the anxiety!
I really hope this helped you, friend!! I am thinking about maybe doing a blog tutorial about how I set up my planner, is that something y’all would like to see? Let me know!!
I love you sweet sista and I’ll talk to ya soon, have a great week!!
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wife // local kids pastor // mama to my heaven boy + my rainbow girl