Are you feeling tired, overwhelmed and exhausted? Me too!! I recently read a book that helped me learn to prioritize my life by simplifying my schedule. In his book, Simplify, Bill Hybels first talks about what is draining you and encourages you to think of a few activities that will “fill your tank” so that you can freely give love and care to others. His first call to action is to realize that you’re running on empty, write down a few things that energize you and schedule them into your week.
His first Key to Replenishment is to:
1.Connect with God.
He suggests finding a quiet spot, reading your bible and then listening. I think the important thing here for me is to be in silence. So many things are vying for my time that it’s nearly impossible to be still and quiet, but that’s when God whispers, very quietly. We are each here on this earth for a reason. Why not connect with the one who designed you and ask Him to help you find your purpose?
Being around family and friends who encourage you is ENERGIZING. I also realize that family and people are broken and can be complex and draining. He suggests trying to mend those relationships and let them be energizing instead of draining. He includes more info on how to do that in later chapters of the book.
3. Satisfying Work
Bill asks us to not settle for just any work, but go for work that energizes us. He quotes King Solomon by saying ” It is good and proper for people to find satisfaction – replenishment- in their labor.” I loved it when Bill states”Friend, life is short. If your job sucks the life out of you week after week, year after year, you will never be able to keep your energy bucket filled.” And “If you need to make a change, pray that God would either change your mind and attitude toward the job, or that the job would change.”
We need to make time for recreation. Bill once visited a counselor who helped him understand that recreation is “re- creating energy and vitality in your inner person. ” So… What fills you up? Is it camping? golf? reading? running? knitting? For me I wrote down a few things as simple as listening to music, watching my favorite tv show, walking my dogs, etc. Bill believes that you need recreation and “you must install it as a regular stream of replenishment in your life.”
I think we all know that taking care of yourself adds energy to your life. He cites a study that claims “exercise and proper rest will give you about a 20 % energy increase in an average day, average week, average month.” Exercise not only improves your physical health, but it’s a simple way to increase your energy. Decide for yourself what your healthy lifestyle will look like and exercise should be a part of it!
So what does this all mean and how do I apply this to my schedule for the week??
Well, I have been doing this for the last few weeks and I feel that by adding and prioritizing these principles, my schedule is glorifying to God and it’s freed me up to live a more simple life.
Here’s how I schedule my week in my planner.
CONNECT WITH GOD: I first write down any “connect with God events.” For me this is that quiet time every day, worship on Sunday and I schedule my kid’s youth group night.
FAMILY: Secure any times in the week to spend time with family/friends. This could be a “date night” or “eat dinner at Gma’s,” schedule coffee with a friend, or even something as simple as taking your son shopping for basketball shoes. Spend time with the ones who energize you!
SATISFYING WORK: This one was hard for me, because I don’t actually have a 9-5 job. I DO take my role as a stay at home Mom very seriously and I schedule in days to clean, laundry to wash, what’s for dinner and errands to run. This is satisfying work to me, so I schedule it on my planner!
RECREATION: Twice a week I try to schedule something fun in my week. I choose one or two things off of my “fill up my bucket” list and schedule them in. This week it happened that I set aside some time to read a book and I also checked out a movie from Redbox to watch- both bucket fillers!!
EXERCISE: My exercise of choice at the moment is walking outside! I schedule a walk twice during the week and then once on the weekend with my hubby. Because it’s Fall and I love to see the beautiful leaves changing colors, it’s perfect for me right now. Yes, I take my doggies for the walk too, because I truly enjoy watching them run and sniff all of the great smells on the path!
My prayer is that you can take control of your schedule and be proactive in securing your priorities and not let your busy-ness push out the life giving events in your life!