AWWW the weekend ahead of us! The weather forecast is for a nice weekend with no rain. It’s been a common occurrence this summer! As we sit at our jobs late Friday we are envisioning all the goals that we want to accomplish on Saturday so that we can take Sunday and relax!
The TO DO list is created….
- 5 km run first thing Saturday morning, committed to getting some exercise
- Cut the grass and weed the gardens
- Wash the house windows
- Wash and vacuum the car
- Move the couch out of the basement and take it to the dump
- Vacuum the house
- Change the sheets on the beds and do the laundry
- Take mom for groceries
On Saturday we set out with the best intentions of conquering the TO DO list. We get our run in and come home to begin the tasks. As we get started the kids start asking if we can drive them here and drive them there. You start with the lawn work and realize the lawnmower is out of gas and you’ll have to run to the gas station. The heat of the day is increasing and so is the humidity. The garden and the lawn are taking longer than you expected. Where did these weeds come from? The help you were expecting from your family has disappeared and you are on your own to haul out the ladder and get the windows washed. A girlfriend drops in and you get her to help you carry up the couch from the basement! Ouch! Is it really that heavy? By the time you are onto vacuuming and doing laundry it’s time to be thinking about supper but you haven’t been out to get the groceries yet and your mom has been calling to find out what the delay is…..
Where did the day go? Why do I have this headache? OH my back is stiff!
Now Saturday’s left over tasks have rolled into Sunday and reaxing will have to wait for a later date. Your husband has invited some friends over to the house for the BBQ and now you’ve got to get some salads made so you can relax and enjoy the BBQ at your house. All of a sudden you remember that you still have to finish that report for the meeting on Monday morning and also that you had committed to researching some information for that charity fundraiser that is coming up. So while the family is out doing their thing you are in front of your laptop working! Two hours have passed and the guests will be here in an hour….
As you fall into bed Sunday night your mind starts racing to what lays ahead at work, what schedules you need to remember for the kid’s activities and your mom’s doctor appointments. How did your life get so busy and where or where did the weekend go?
I know many of you can relate because this was me in another lifetime and this is the lifestyle of many of my clients. For many Monday starts out stressful because the stress and pressures of the weekend are still fresh in our minds. We have not had or taken the time to relax, refresh and restore ourselves for the workweek ahead. We have become a Weekend Warrior!
This Weekend Warrior now carries into Monday the sore back muscles from lifting something that was too heavy, sore leg muscles from the run that you are only getting in every once or twice a month, the headache from the lack of quality sleep, the tension in your neck from trying to get everything done before you relax!
So if you have become the Weekend Warrior AND you are still the Worker Bee Monday to Friday something may have to give before you are forced to give something up. For many the only way to stop is to be forced into it with a serious injury or an illness that stops us cold.
We’re all aware of the negative impact of stress and the dangers of doing too much but we continue to go down this busy, dangerous path. So how do we change? How do we stop this treadmill?
As I write this today I am listening to my husband recount a conversation he has heard his father say:
Friend: well what did you do today?
Father: not a damn thing and I’m almost done!
This may not be a perfect solution to getting off the treadmill or slowing down your lifestyle but perhaps this will inspire you to make some positive, healthier changes!
Dale Carnegie used to ask his students to ask the question….”IF I didn’t do ______(you fill in the blank) What’s the worst that would happen?” Once you’ve answered the question and you know the worst possible outcome now you can begin to prioritize the tasks ahead of you.
“If I didn’t get the windows washed, what is the worst that would happen?” Answer: I couldn’t see out of the window and someone would think I wasn’t a good housekeeper!”
I use this question in my life all the time! It helps me prioritize the tasks, the responsibilities and helps me put my life into focus. Some days the dishes get left, the weeds are allowed to prosper and the garage still needs cleaning. I’ve discovered that if tasks are left uncompleted my world does not come to an end and on the flip side when I do take on the task of weeding the garden I can sit back and truly appreciate the improvement that has been made in our outdoor landscape.
This weekend while I was up at the cottage my to do list had on it 3 things, prepare product for a show on Thursday night, consolidate two spreadsheets and write 5 blogs. I have prepared the product, written one blog and have not opened the spreadsheets. It’s time now to grab a book, sit back and enjoy this beautiful day.
So if YOU are looking for a place to start…. begin with small tasks, small steps, shorter lists, and MAKE some time for YOU to unwind.