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As springtime activities get into full swing, are you busier than you’d like to be? Do you find it difficult to get everything done on your to do list? Even more importantly, does your calendar match your priorities in life? If not, maybe it is time to de-clutter your schedule and reestablish your priorities.

planner on table with vase of flowers and jar of sidewalk chalk

Many of us wear our busyness like a badge of honor when maybe instead it’s a burden that needs lightened. Organizational and time management skills can help you be more efficient. But even the best time management strategies aren’t enough to tackle a schedule that is just too full. We tend to over-estimate what we can accomplish in a day, and under-estimate the amount of time a certain task will take. Maybe we need to observe our patterns, acknowledge our limits, and clarify the values that add meaning to our lives. These principles apply to both work and personal life.

There is no easy checklist for finding balance, but here are some things to consider:

  • Set priorities. Sometimes that means making tough choices… letting some thing(s) go. Before committing to yet another project or volunteer opportunity or an activity for your child, ask yourself if it fits into your priorities.
father-figure blowing bubbles with 2 little girls on grass
  • Get on the same page. Make sure your family agrees on priorities. Before you add a big commitment to the calendar, check with your spouse or partner to avoid unnecessary time crunches.
  • Acknowledge your limits. As much as we try to do it all, we have limits. Be realistic with your calendar and your energy level on the number of commitments you have, and do the same for the other members of your family to avoid having overscheduled kids.
  • Say no. We probably kick ourselves more often for saying yes when we should have said no (than the other way around). No is such a little word, and yet it holds so much power to free up the schedule.
  • Keep your focus. Reestablishing priorities is a cyclical process as we go through life. Make sure those priorities show up on your daily to do list, as a way of being intentional about keeping your focus on what is most important.

For more information, check out these blog articles about how to create margin in your life and find balance.

Writer: Shannon Carter, Extension Educator, Family & Consumer Sciences, Ohio State University Extension, Fairfield County, carter.413@osu.edu

Reviewer: Jenny Lobb, Extension Educator, Family & Consumer Sciences, Ohio State University Extension, Franklin County, lobb.3@osu.edu

References:
Carter, S. “Creating Margin in Your Life.” Live Smart Ohio blog, Ohio State University Extension, August 2017.

Carter, S. “Overscheduled Kids.” Live Smart Ohio blog, Ohio State University Extension, May 2017.

Price, R. et al. Time Management: 10 Strategies for Better Time Management (C 1042) University of Georgia Extension, April 2020.

Treber, M. “Balancing Act – Helping You Find Your Balance.” Live Smart Ohio blog, Ohio State University Extension, September 2015.

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It takes 21 days to develop a habit. Make a commitment to yourself and mark your calendar for the next 21 days to start a physical activity. Start with small steps. For example, start today before you take your shower with 10 jumping jacks or crunches. Add 10 more jumping jacks or crunches daily until you reach 100. Once you reach 100, stick with it on a daily basis before you take your shower to begin to develop the exercise habit.

Choose activities that are fun and easy to do regularly. Be sure to do at least 10 minutes of activity at a time. For example, walking the dog for 10 minutes before and after work, or a 10 minute walk at lunchtime helps to start the journey to develop an exercise habit. Keep a pair of walking or running shoes and comfortable clothes in the car or at the office to be ready for physical activity.
Ideas to increase physical activity
jumping-jacks
At work:
• Replace a coffee break with a brisk 10 minute walk
• Take the stairs instead of the elevator
• Start a walking club at work during lunch time
• Invite co-workers to take a walk or move to a workout DVD after work

journey walking

At home:
• Get the whole family involved – take a bike ride or walk around the neighborhood
• Walk up and down the soccer field sidelines while watching the game
• While your dinner is baking in the oven, try yoga or Pilates

• Exercise to a workout video
• Walk, skate or cycle
• Join a dance class
• Take a nature walk
• Most importantly – have fun!

Before you know it, 21 days will have passed by, an exercise habit is formed and the journey begins for a more active life!

Sources: http://www.choosemyplate.gov/physical-activity/increase-physical-activity
Writer: Beth Stefura M Ed, RD, LD. Extension Educator, Family & Consumer Sciences, Ohio State University Extension, Mahoning County, Crossroads EERA, stefura.2@osu.edu

Reviewer: Michelle Treber, MA, LD. Extension Educator, Family & Consumer Sciences, Ohio State University Extension, Pickaway County, Heart of Ohio EERA, treber.1@osu.edu

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