“Have regular hours for both work and play, make each day both useful and pleasant, and prove that you understand the worth of time by employing it well.” Louisa May Alcott, author of Little Women.
If you’ve read any of my previous articles you know by now that this woman uses a daily schedule to plan her days, weeks, and months. But that doesn’t mean there’s no time to fit in a few little breaks here and there.
It’s amazing what can be done in 5 minutes! If I have a heavy day of computer work, I set my clock to chime on the hour reminding me it’s time to get and move around a bit. For 5 minutes I can put on some rock music and get 5 minutes of cardio in, or I can do a mini clean in one of the bathrooms, or fold a load of laundry and toss the next load in, or do a bit of weeding in my garden. While waiting for the kettle to boil for a cup of tea, I can do some push ups braced against the counter followed by some squats, lunges and a bit of stretching before I return to my desk.
For people who resist doing housework or exercise (two things that we should try to do everyday), sandwiching in 5 minutes of cleaning or organizing, or squeezing in 5 minutes of aerobics, calisthenics, or stretching several times a day could be a way to hit your targets.
As much as I love having a productive day, I think of the quote from Louisa May Alcott and try to take time to enjoy the relaxing therapy that comes from daydreaming on my front porch, playing a computer game, painting a landscape or decorating a room for the new season. I also love watching TV, but I usually reserve this for the evening, when my energy is low and my brain is working at half power. I learned long ago that I’m definitely an early bird and not a night owl, which you’ll already know if you’ve ever received an email from me after 9pm that’s full of typos! But most of all I love to connect with people! Taking a little pause in a busy day for a few minutes of chit chat on the phone with a dear friend or over the back fence with my lovely neighbour as we both prune our gardens always brings some balance, warmth and love into my heart. Yes, I will take the time for all these things, knowing that weaving these threads into the fabric of my life adds to the richness of colour, the durable strength and the meaningfulness that is my world.
At the end of the day, the how & when of your own work/life management comes down to what works best for you! There is no right way or wrong way and there is no winning or losing – it’s all about creating balance, joy and good health; one step – one decision – one action at a time.
GRATITUDE SUNDAY – I am very inspired by the writings of Henry David Thoreau. His quote “It is not enough to be busy…the question is: What are we busy about?” has helped to bring clarity and balance to my daily round. I am so grateful for all the lessons in my life that had led me to where I am now. The pathway was not easy, nor clearly seen; but the tools, skills, friendships and insight gained from every challenging experience helped me determine what I want to be busy about. My wish for each of you is that you find your clarity, balance and joy. I encourage you to be a seeker; to open your mind and your heart to new teachings. To gracefully let go of all that which does not serve you well and embrace that which does.
TUESDAY, next week – Meet me here next Tuesday to continue our journey.
H.O.P.E. is on the horizon my fellow Pathways Traveller – one step, one decision, one action at a time!