This semester I decided to take a college art class. The class, along with other exciting opportunities, have added 20 hours of new tasks to my week. In the past, I would have given up sleep, self-care, and other things that were important to me to have that time. I would endure a sense of deprivation until my class ended. By the end, I’d be exhausted and burnt out.
Now, I’m doing it differently. When there’s a significant change to my schedule, I go through a process of rebalancing. I drop things from my schedule, then notice how it works and how I feel about it. I then adjust what isn’t working. I do this until I have a balance that feels healthy and vital.
Here’s some of the tools I use when I rebalance:
- Getting the sleep I need.
- Taking a day off each week.
- Talking over my rebalancing process with supportive friends.
- Reminding myself that I’m choosing my life, and that outside authorities aren’t.
Here are some things I’ve let go of as a result of my schedule change:
- spending too much time on my computer
- staying in conversation longer than I really want
- micromanaging my husband
- doing less-than-fulfilling activities
One of the things I realized as a result of shifting my schedule is that I had been doing too much cerebral work—learning, reading, working on the computer—and not enough hands-on activities. As I’m doing my art, I’m feeling much more balanced. This is seeping into the rest of my life. I’m more aware of what I’m doing in the moment, as if every activity is a piece of art.
Going through a rebalancing process gives us the opportunity to re-evaluate our priorities and bring our lives more in alignment with who we truly are. When you have a significant increase in the demand on your time, do you endure it until it passes or do you embrace the opportunity to upgrade the quality of your day-to-day life?