Learning to Juggle Life
Learning to juggle is one of the things I included on my Day Zero Project list. I had read an article about how learning to juggle expands brain capacity, and whether or not it is true, I thought I would give it a try. So far, no success, but I have over two years left to figure it out.
However, in a metaphorical way, I juggle very proficiently every day. I work full time, go to school part time, manage a household and maintain a fitness regime and a daily 15,000 step commitment. I do all of these things while sticking to a 7 hour-per-night sleep schedule, and having plenty of time for goofing around.
So, I started to ask myself what allows me to juggle. I know many other people who are also able to accomplish this, and some of them have children as well! And yet, others struggle with the basic tasks of getting to work and getting home to make dinner. What makes the difference?
I am not a plan B type of person, and more over, I am hardly a plan A type of person. I have truly become a “fly by the seat of my pants” person, so flexible in my routines that I am marshmallowy.
I don’t manage all of this by conforming to rigid routines and schedules. My husband works different shifts every day and has different days off every week, so I am very accustomed to living life on a variety of daily schedules. But I am also not a procrastinator. As noted in a previous blog post, I use various tools to keep me on track, and just keep moving forward and somehow, I get everywhere I need to be, no stress!
So, what are the common factors among people who make it work?
1. Time Management – I enjoy pursuing several projects, chores or goals at a time, methodically working my way to their conclusion, and maximizing the use of my time. My sister is an excellent example of a good time manager. Regardless of her busy schedule, she fits in a 30-60 minute workout each day, while never missing a beat making a home cooked meal, keeping her house clean, and staying current on her school assignments. She uses her exercise time as TV time; I know when we were watching Downton Abbey stream on Amazon, she would only allow herself to watch while on the treadmill. I like this strategy a lot – she is accomplishing two things at once and making one less detestable at the same time.
2. Looking Ahead – I have school assignments due each week, as I am in an accelerated program with 8-week classes. I typically try to get my homework done before Thursday, but I have no set schedule for when I do it. However, at the start of each class, I read through every assignment so I know the expectations well in advance and I am never caught off guard. And then at the start of each week, I read that week’s material and assignment. I may not begin it, but now I am thinking about it, getting ideas and formulating a mental plan of what to do. Since I know what’s coming, I can gauge how much time I will need. I never sit down on the last day shocked at the extent of what I have to do. I am always aware and prepared for what is coming next. In other words – don’t get blindsided!
3. Going With the Flow – I asked others what they would say helps them and they said, and I agree, that going with the flow makes them better jugglers. One said, “If I say I am going to mop the floor tonight and something comes up, I don’t stress about a change of plans.” Some people aren’t like this. Some people operate under rigid timelines and commitments and then when life happens – and it will – they are thrown off and become unproductive.
Now, if only these same principles would help me learn to actually juggle, I’d be able to check something off of my list!