If you’re feeling overscheduled, overworked or overwrought, this message is for you. Being busy might seem like a way of life in our American culture, but we can learn how to be busy with the right things!
On a recent phone call with my mentor, Holly, I asked if she thought I was busier than most people.
She surprised me with her answer:
“Yes, I think you are. I think you really are. But there isn’t a whole lot you can do about that right now,” she said. “You’re busy, but you’re busy with the right things.”
Holly knows the ins and outs of my weekly schedule more than many. A family manager coach by trade, she’s helped me a ton in the area of time management. She’s familiar with my life as a wife, mom to three, business owner, and writer.
Still, I didn’t know how to take her answer.
I cringe to think I’ve gotten the reputation of being busy. But it’s true. Many people even preface their interactions with me like this: “I know you’re so busy.”
I don’t want to give off the air that I don’t have time for anyone else, but, in all reality, I don’t have the margin in my life to pour into every single person in the world.
And neither do you.
As I look over the past few years, I can see where I struggled to say “yes” without thinking, and I avoiding saying “no” at all costs.
Recently, though, that has flip flopped.
I say “no” a lot more liberally, but in order to say “yes” to the very best things–those areas where God is truly calling me–the margin in my life for many events, activities, and relationships have become limited.
I’ve had to get extremely intentional with my time. And I don’t think that’s a bad thing.
In fact, I think we could all use a little more forethought into how and where and with whom we spend our time.
As an ENFP personality type, I struggle with people pleasing. I want to help everyone all the time.
But I simply can’t.
If I were to give all of myself to everyone who asks for it, there would be nothing left for my family and those who matter most.
There would be no time to rest, recharge, and, most importantly, reconnect with God.
The truth is, when you’re feeling maxed out, it’s hard to live intentionally and set aside time for the Lord.
But how do we balance it all?
How can I juggle being a wife, mom, part-time homeschooling mom, church member, business owner/blogger, and writer?
How can you better balance your busyness as well?
Here are some ways I’ve learned to be busy with the right things over the past year:
If you are a mom, this can start with delegating chores to your little ones!
I didn’t grow up with chores, and I am ashamed when I look back at the load my mother carried.
We recently implemented a new chore system with our three girls–ages 3, 5, and 7–and we are shouting about it from the rooftops because–hallelujah–it works!
In addition, we hired a mother’s helper a few months ago. Megan is a young college student from our church, and having her help me around the house has been a game changer.
You might be surprised how affordable it can be to hire a young girl to come help in your home. I was a mother’s helper for a stay-at-home mom when I was just 11 years old. It helped out the mom, but I also learned a lot about homemaking and motherhood from getting to spend time in her home!
2. “Run” errands online.
I rarely shop. In fact, I rarely run many errands.
I do as much as I can online.
(When I do shop for food, it’s at ALDI. There, I can get in and out super quickly, and I am not plagued with decision fatigue because there is only one brand of everything.)
But I truly do the rest of my shopping online.
We also pay all of our bills online and do online banking. We can do this on our computers or via a mobile app with our phones.
My husband and I have been banking with online for years. Our banks, as do most, also has a mobile app, and from what I’ve read and understand, their banking options are also incredibly convenient for today’s busy families! Their mobile app allows you to pay bills, deposit checks, find ATMs, and transfer money between accounts in just seconds.
3. Let things go.
I recently walked away from a secondary business I co-created.
Fourteen months ago, we left a church where we had been members for five years and joined a church closer to our home.
Last year, I deleted hundreds of “friends” on Facebook, and I also left hundreds of Facebook groups–many of them blogging groups–that sucked my time away.
Instead of participating in online groups with thousands of members, I’m mainly sticking to the ones that are smaller and more intimate in nature–those that can foster more depth in friendship.
Instead of participating in online Bible studies, I’m finally in the season of life where I an invest in relationships via a weekly, in-person Bible study with the women’s group at my church.
When it comes to relationships, in particular, I’m choosing many real life interactions over online ones (although I do love my online friends!).
4. Say “Yes” to Where God Has Called You
When God calls us to new things, we often have to walk away from the old.
I recently announced that I just signed a book deal. There were things I had to let go in order to say “yes” to God’s calling me to write.
What is God calling you to say “yes” to?
Two phenomenal books I read on answering God’s “best yes” and “breaking busy” in 2015 (they both made my favorite books list!) were:
Breaking Busy by Alli Worthington
The Best Yes by Lysa Terkeurst
If you’re struggling with being busy, I highly recommend these reads.