How do we keep all those plates spinning in our lives?

“I’m so busy!”

Being busy is almost a cliché these days, of course I’m busy, you’re busy too!

Most of us have way more on our to do list than we can ever hope to accomplish in a single day, week, or maybe even lifetime.  And I don’t know about you, but at the end of the day, what STILL needs to be done often bogs me down.

On any given day these are the things I would like to do (or need to do):

  • Feed my kids healthy home made meals 3 times a day
  • Clean up the dishes and kitchen after said 3 meals
  • Spend time with my kids, truly connecting, (not just with them in the same room)
  • Connect with my husband
  • Reach out to good friends and family
  • Exercise
  • Write for my blog
  • Read and stay up to date on blogs/sites I follow
  • Update my twitter and facebook pages
  • Check in with training clients
  • Promote my business
  • Pick up the house
  • Eat healthy meals myself
  • Pay bills
  • Do career and personal development learning and reading
  • Catch up on my favorite tv programs
  • Laundry
  • Household projects and maintenance
  • Grocery shopping
  • Car maintenance
  • Return emails
  • Work on my volunteer job
  • Work on long term planning (like retirement funds, refinancing our mortgage, updating life insurance)
  • Have some quiet alone time
  • Read for pleasure
  • Bathe and personal care (notice how low on the list this is??)
  • Sleep

And that doesn’t even count the things that come into play this time of year like shopping, wrapping, decorating, party-going etc.

So, yeah….we’re all busy, BUT what do we do about it?

A dear friend and mentor of mine, Shannon Fable, hosts a series of webinars, mostly for group fitness managers, but so many of her topics are applicable to all of us.  I tuned into her discussion on “Spinning Plates” almost a year ago, but I found myself this weekend re-reading my notes and having a HUGE “aha moment”

One of the things she talked about was breaking that huge list above that we all have, into our big “hats” that we wear at any given moment.   OR plates, her idea is that all these areas in our life are like the plates the entertainer spins at the circus, she gets one spinning and can leave it for a moment while she spins another one.  Then, when one slows down, she can return and give it a push again.  Unlike a juggler who has to keep his eye and his hands on everything all at once.

I broke my list in to three areas of my life.

My Personal Relationships (including my home)

My Career

My Self

When I put my list into these categories it looks like this;

My Personal Relationships

Feed my kids healthy home made meals 3 times a day

Clean up the dishes and kitchen after said 3 meals

Spend time with my kids truly connecting, not just with them in the same room

Connect with my husband

Reach out to good friends and family

Pick up the house

Pay bills

Laundry

Household projects and maintenance

Grocery shopping

Car maintenance

Work on long term planning (like retirement funds, refinancing our mortgage, updating life insurance)

 

 

My Career

Write for my blog

Read and stay up to date on blogs/sites I follow

Update my twitter and facebook pages

Check in with training clients

Promote my business

Career development learning and reading

Return emails

Work on my volunteer job

 

 

My Self

Exercise

Eat healthy meals

Do personal development learning and reading

Catch up on my favorite tv programs

Have some quiet alone time

Read for pleasure

Bathe and personal care

Sleep

The list isn’t any shorter. Now I know what plates I need to spin each day.

 

The “AHA” came when I realized these are also my life’s biggest priorities; My relationship, my career and my self. 

 

EVERYDAY I want to be sure I spin a plate in each area to help move my life forward in a fulfilling and meaningful way.

Now, instead of a million things, I focus on making sure I do at least one thing from each category each day….much more manageable and I know the plates will keep spinning.

Today I; worked out, wrote this blog post and tonight we are decorating the Christmas tree as a family – Three plates-DONE!

What do you do to manage your to do list and still feel sane?  Leave a comment below and share your tips with us!

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