Prioritizing commitments is a skill. Being flexible to include emergencies, delays and unexpected glitches is a PRACTICE. Not even a saint can always react with poise. There will always be a hiccup like illness, transportation problems or a chipped tooth.
I try to make quiet time/space for me just as important as any meeting or responsibility scheduled. This is a perpetual challenge, an ongoing mystery. When I am overwhelmed with commitments and I have way too much on my platter, I desperately need to re-evaluate how much I care about my sanity. Is my ego in the way? Where is the self-love, self-care and self-nurturing fairy in all of this? Is my pride (see ego) more important than my health?
Sometimes, my car and spa music can soothe me and help me decompress. Sometimes it is just taking conscious breaths, in and out, like the tide, re-connecting self to Earth. Sometimes, I just need to be reminded to slow down and do something to renew me.
Determine what can fit into your schedule with a graph. How much time DO you spend on each need, want and must do’s? I like pie graphs. It is great for visual learners and simplifies the whole week/month/year/life for me. How much time is divided up depends on your priorities. Making yourself #1 on the list seems a bit much in our Puritanical mindset still left over from the Pilgrims, Quakers etc, but otherwise you will be drained and serve no one.
What portion of your time is doled out for recreation, meditation, exercise, pleasant/slow/mindful eating, hobbies, entertainment or spiritual development?
I am fairly committed and reliable because I have SLOWLY learned to take care of myself. I am a responsible person who takes her obligations seriously. Scheduling time in the day to re-group, re-energize or even re-think is mandatory if I want to be available or show up (with a smile and graciously) for appointments I must attend.
Make a list of what only you can do – like go to the doctor’s for your annual vs. what you can delegate – like mowing the lawn vs. what you can defer – like re-scheduling a three hour lunch next week to a one hour coffee meeting, a few days later. Use your own judgement and calendar to make it work for you. DO – -Delegate – DEFER
And ask yourself if you are as demanding of others as you are of yourself.