I used to think I was going crazy, then things got much worse when I realized that everyone I know is crazy. Not necessarily crazy-as-in-insane but insanely busy, which we all know is a mighty close relation. Here’s my analysis on why we have to free our minds .
Nutritionists tell us not to eat things that our grandmothers wouldn’t have recognized. The more processed the food, the longer the list of unpronounceable ingredients, the less healthy it is for you. Shouldn’t that also apply to the way we use our time? If my great-grandmother could tag along with any of us for one day, to witness first-hand the high-paced, dizzying, multi-tasking frenetic energy with which we jolt through our days, she wouldn’t recognize our lives as remotely healthy.
And she would be right. It is all too much.
We have responsibility overload: Our brains are overtaxed, our homes have way too much stuff in them, our adrenal glands are overworked, our minds don’t rest, and our marriages and families are suffering. Forgive me for generalizing or sounding like the voice of doom, but talk to your friends and you will hear pretty much the same refrain.
If we listen to that quiet voice of reason from deep within us, we will hear ourselves whispering that something has to shift. We have to go back to basics.
Now, I am not advocating that we all sell up, move to a farm, live off the land and read by candlelight every evening. There are definitely things that are better now. Electricity and indoor plumbing, for example have definite advantages. Plus, we now have the vote. And many of us have jobs outside the home, and husbands who are involved with the house and the kids. However, I do believe that our ancestors were on to something. While life wasn’t always easy back in the day, there was a certain predictability and routine that kept families grounded, and kept Mom’s brain on track. She knew which days were washing days, which days she did shopping, which holidays were approaching that required certain recipes, and she knew how to relax and unwind at the end of the day once the work was done.
As Moms in our fast-paced world, we have all the electricity and indoor plumbing and economic and social opportunities that we need, but do we have any systems in place? Do we know which days are which? Do we know what is coming up next, or the value of relaxing at the end of the day? How many of us have our phones next to our beds and check them in the middle of the night?
Our brains are not set up to juggle the competing demands on our time and attention in today’s information-saturated, fast-paced world. So how about we keep the electricity and indoor plumbing, and the jobs and helpful husbands, and lose the frenetic, multitasking anxiety-provoking lifestyle? How about if we took the best systems from the past and blended them with the gifts of the 21st century? What if we had our wi-fi and our homemade cookies and a system to give them each a slot in our calendar? So keep your yoga and your volunteer work, and your daughter’s basketball practice and your son’s chess tutoring; let’s just create simple systems to let them co-exist in our lives without the brain drain and burnout. Let’s refine our lives so that our great-grandmothers could look at our lives and recognize with pride the way we manage our days… and by extension, our sanity.
Time Management Guru – Rivka Caroline, author of Frazzled to Focused Ultimate Time Management Guide for Moms & CEO of SoBe Organized, Miami, Florida
Rivka is a Mom of 7, Author of Frazzled to Focused, Rabbi’s wife and CEO of the professional Time Management Consultancy SoBe Organized. She teaches both individuals and small businesses how to leverage their time to work effectively and find time for the things that count. She loves the psychology behind time management and will be finishing her Masters in Psychology in October 2013. Perhaps more importantly, Rivka is still quite relaxed and surprisingly sane and able to find time for what matters. People often ask her how she ‘does it all’, her tweets @sobeorganized, blog posts and book is her detailed response ( spoiler alert : she doesn’t actually do it all and doesn’t want YOU to either).