Because I use spreadsheets for everything, I made a quick pass at determining why my weeks still feel out of control even now that my work stress is manageable. I thought that I might find a bank of hours that I was somehow losing or misusing. I found that there are 2-3 hours per day of unscheduled time.
Add in carpool driving, household chores, and extra minutes spent in traffic, and it’s no wonder the time vanishes. It’s not a surprise that many find extra time by taking it from the sleep bank; I did that for several years (with the extra hour/day going to work time) and learned that an hour per day makes a huge difference in how I feel, act, and react. I had myself convinced that I didn’t need more sleep because I woke every day without an alarm, even on weekends, but when my work schedule changed and I began allowing myself to sleep later with approximately the same bedtime, I felt like a new person.
Running constantly from one activity to the next makes me feel like a small, insignificant object being tossed around a chaotic universe, and I know that I am less pleasant to be around when I feel this way. For myself, my family, my coworkers I need to find moments of peace within those busy workdays.
This week, breaks in busy-ness have been:
Taking actual lunch breaks outside in the sunshine, reading a book and walking to the flower garden;
My first hour at work, deep work time before things get really busy;
Enjoying an audio novel during my commute;
Talking with Mari and Thom during evening dog walks, and watching bats fluttering as we walk home in the dwindling light;
Gardening in 10-minute spurts while dinner cooks;
Reading before bed with purring kitty Sylvester on my lap.
I will be looking for more pauses as I complete the required activities of each day.
Where are your moments of peace?