Sudden grief, frustration, disappointment, and regret collided. My already full plate overflowed with emergencies or what seemed like emergencies. Flying by the seat of my pants from this fire to the next did not create grace-filled reactions. So, we continue our HOLIDAY Wellness Plan Acronym with O for Overflowing Capacity.
We’ve identified holiday habits to change and healthy habits to adopt before the season fully swings. Many of us struggle to maintain our exercise, eating, and stress management habits over the holiday season, then regret not savoring their true meaning. If we manage our time better, we’ll have a few extra moments to exercise, eat healthier, and be less stressed.
Our moments are fragile and finite, so I want to use my God-given time well. If I truly want to make all my moments memorable, I need to manage my time well and prevent overflowing capacity. The question is how?
How do we manage essentials AND extras for the holidays? Part of the problem is we underestimate our time. Often, our expectations exceed our own abilities and available time. But we still want a wonderland of celebration. And somewhere in the middle, we miss the wonder. The true meaning and small moments of the holidays get missed and regret creeps in. Tracking time spent on routine habits is eye opening. Laundry alone takes hours! Realizing how much time we actually spend on meaningful and non-meaningful things is a good exercise to find margin in our time management. Finding margin all begins with a plan.
The first step to conquer overflowing capacity is to seek God’s plan for our lives. We have control over most of our calendar. Years ago, my husband reminded me no one will manage my time except me and ultimately, God. I remind myself of this all. the. time. But life happens and I struggle here too.
God is the only One we are responsible to with our time. Yes, we are responsible for others-our children especially and to others-family, friends, our jobs etc. But we are not responsible for doing everything others want of us. We only need to answer to God. Understanding this makes it easier to let go of some habits this holiday season.
Remembering our moments are about choices, we need to manage our time and choose wisely.
Time Management Lessons:
- Flying by the seat of your pants only works for so long: plan ahead! Planning ahead requires organization. Even if organized, things can still go awry, but then at least there’s a plan to fall back on. Check out some organizational tips from my MemoryMinders blog for organizing help. How can you plan and organize now for the holidays to relieve pressure later?
- Even Wonder Woman had the Super Friends: enlist help! I realize that reference dates me, but it’s true. I am not the only one who can do laundry, dishes, pack a lunch, or buy holiday gifts. We just need to seek assistance. Getting help does not constitute failure, it’s allowing others to use their gifts to God’s glory. This frees up time for things only we can do: exercise, eat healthy, manage our stress, and curate relationships. Do what you alone can do and delegate when possible for the other things. What holiday item is for you alone to manage and where can others help?
- Listen to the King! King Solomon asked for and was granted wisdom from God. Here is one of King Solomon’s observations “For everything there is a season, a time for every activity under heaven.” Ecclesiastes 3:1 Not everything is meant for every season. Just because we did it before or see everyone else doing something doesn’t mean it’s for us in this season. Remember, our first job is to seek God’s will for our lives, so in this season, what does God have uniquely for you? I love how Solomon sums up his observations about life in Ecclesiastes 12:13b “Here now is my final conclusion: Fear God and obey his commands, for this is everyone’s duty.”
Every season has its overflowing capacity moments. But by seeking, fearing, and obeying God in our lives plus applying time management techniques, we can find more room on our holiday plate this year.