Tis the season to adapt to your new schedule…
Want to feel more flexible and less stress while trying to adapt to schedule changes? Let’s start out a piece of sage advice from the philosopher Herclitus…
“Change is the only Constant in Life”
And I think all of us moms would definitely agree with this. Ever play that baby shower game where they ask you to put down your best piece of parenting advice? I usually write down “As soon as you’ve figured something out, it changes.” Am I wrong?
From sleep schedules and growth spurts to summer schedule versus school schedule, our parenting lives are in constant flux. And sometimes it is much easier to deal with those changes than others. And with the recent start of school and pending change of season, I want to help you as you adapt your family’s schedule.
Creating a routine or plan around your schedule changes helps make the unknown more familiar. If you ever feel overwhelmed because you just finally find a rhythm and then “poof” it changes. Sometimes temporarily. Sometimes permanently. And sometimes, like in the case of 2020, it starts out as temporary then morphs into a more permanent feeling change. 😬Today’s tips help you create a plan or develop a mindset that adapts better to going with the flow.
Can you reframe the changes and make sure your priorities are complete? Then you will feel less overwhelmed and more in control, even when so much is up in the air.
Previously, you might have dealt with schedule changes by making drastic cuts to things like self-care. Or burning the candle at both ends to try to marry your past schedule which felt comfortable and your current schedule which feels coo-coo.
These changes feel stressful and overwhelming because our brains literally like comfort. They like routine. They like same. And right now our brains are like “whoa, whoa, whoa…what happened? I really liked what we were doing before. Let’s go back to that.” It makes the changes feel worse then they actually are.
But a subtle shift in our reaction to the change and continuing to focus on priority tasks for our business, family, and selves will help lessen the overall stress of schedule changes. And, dare I say, even help us find enjoyment in some of the new activities we are adding.
The tips we will talk about today help you create space in your schedule for unexpected changes. And enjoy the nothing when you don’t need to use that time. Even if your schedule isn’t packed all day, you will feel accomplished because those urgent and important tasks are complete.
You’re family will love this because there won’t need to walk on eggshells if there’s a sudden change. You’ll be more adaptable and less stressed in those situations. And if you feel less stressed, they feel less stress.
Action Steps to Adapt to Schedule Changes
You might be thinking less stress and more adaptiveness sounds great Christy, but where do I even start??? Here are 4 actions your can take to help adapt to schedule changes more quickly and with less stress:
- Know Your Priorities…It may feel like I’m a broken record on priorities right now, but that is because finding clarity in your priority tasks is so key to juggling work and home life. So often when we feel like we’re overworked or our schedule is too packed, we are wasting time on activities and tasks that don’t move us forward.
- And speaking of trimming your to-dos, my second action to adapt when you schedule changes is to build in margin. You need buffer space in your schedule. You need space for errors or unexpected activities. What happens when you’re running and blocked out from sun up to sundown? There is no space for traffic. Or a sick kid. Or a computer crash and whatever else trips up your daily schedule. Leave a space in your day for the unexpected. If you don’t use it, great! I’m sure that is something you can fill it with.
- If you find that building margin into your schedule is nearly impossible, you need to use your no more often. Moms love to say yes…many times because it feels like we are letting people down when we say no. Don’t say yes if it is not something you feel truly impassioned about. Don’t say yes if it is something you are only doing because your feel guilty about saying no. And don’t say yes if you would normally say yes too but you don’t actually have space in your schedule. Just say no. I give you permission. And if you can’t just say no, say “I’m sorry but I just can’t right now. Our schedule is just too booked. But feel free to ask me again later.”
- And finally, learning to say no and build margin will free you up for more time for yourself. Often we had just figured out how to make time for ourselves and everything changed. How frustrating! It’s because we make a bad habit of scheduling time for ourselves AFTER we’ve figured out a schedule for the family. And when there’s a change, that mommy me time tends to be first out. Start building that time for you into your daily routine now and make it a non-negotiable when schedules change. Then your brain will still feel that comfort. And it will be less likely to create stress resisting the changes your need to make.
Today’s action step to help you adapt to schedule changes is to build a daily or weekly schedule. Focus on your priority tasks. See where you can build in margin and time for yourself. If it feels like you can’t do either, it’s time to start using your no. And pick up Your Priority Recipe to figure out your priority tasks here.