Adulting 101: 7 Ways to Balance Your Priorities
Today is the day we've been anticipating for months, as we begin our brand new series "ADULTING 101." As teens transitioning into adulthood, there is no question that you're facing big changes and tough choices. How do you navigate it all? How do you "adult" in this world every day? We've reached out to writers from across the nation in all seasons of life to ask them to share their tips with you. Thus, today we kick the series off with one of the hardest struggles of all: how to balance your priorities.
"What do you do when you feel like you're spreading yourself too thin, but have opportunities that are hard to say no to? There's a lot going on which is a good thing, but I'm feeling overwhelmed." -Anony[miss]
We all fight with being overwhelmed at one point or another, and could use a little step-by-step prompting to get out from under the weight of all of the things we’re trying to do all at once. Or, maybe your struggle is that you're not doing too many things, but you still don't feel content because you aren't doing the right things.
We are not meant to overwork ourselves, be stressed, or running around like chickens with their heads cut off. If this is you, something needs to change. Here are some ways to start to balance your priorities in a healthy way, whether in your personal life or work.
1. Say “no.”
Just do it. Start saying “no.” To everything. Okay maybe not everything, but a lot of things. You might need to prune and pull back from more than is initially necessary so you have the clearest head possible to start evaluating your commitments. I've found it’s easiest to start with as empty a clean slate as possible, and add things back as needed.
2.Make a list.
Write down every single thing you are committing your time and energy to activity, job, extracurricular, and hobby-wise.
3. Pray over the list.
Truly ask yourself what of these listed things you really need to do. Sometimes there are things you may want to do but you don't need to do. We can't do everything we want sometimes. Ask what it is you're supposed to do. Make priorities. What is best for right now? What's best for later? What's best for never, even? Sometimes it can seem like you're doing more than you are, or stressed more than you need to be. But, once you clearly write it down and even pray over it, it can free up your mind and help you focus and discern what it is you need to get done.
4. Trust your instinct/gut/intuition/discernment.
The more I practice this, the more I almost instantaneously know whether or not I should do something when an opportunity presents itself. Even for things as simple as someone asking me to get coffee. If I said yes to everyone who asked me to get coffee or to hang out, I would literally never be home. And I love my home.
Having time to myself to recharge is really essential for me so that I can be fully present in the other areas of my life when it's most important.
5. When new opportunities come business-wise, again, trust your gut.
Say “no” to most things. I used to say yes to every interview, feature, photo opportunity, collaboration, meetup, craft show, and market. It very quickly became way too much.
I realized that most of them weren't even as great as they promised to be, or were worth all of the time and work I put into them for what I got in return. Granted, you need a season of this perhaps to have some different learning experiences. Figure out what it is you want and where you want to go. But, once you've figured that out, stop saying yes to everything.
Say yes to things that make you want to get out of bed in the morning because you're so excited to be a part of them. You know, the things that you want to do first before all the other things on your to-do list. Things that align with your vision of who you are, who you want to be, and where you want to go.
Above all: Do not be afraid of missing out by saying no. That's living in fear. That's not who you are.
Opportunities will always be there. Put the important things first.
6. Figure out your important things.
This doesn't always look how you would think. For instance: A great job opportunity that will cause me to miss a friends event will earn me enough extra money to work less the following week so I can take a day off to help my Dad with something important. Or skipping a family event, because I need some alone time after a busy work week, will allow me to be present and better able to love and serve them at an important get together next time. You get the idea. Just figure out what the important things are in your life. Maybe even what your core values are. That honestly was the most helpful aspect for me in figuring out what I need to do with my time and energy.
7. You do not have to explain yourself to people.
You do not have to go into an in depth explanation for everything and everyone you say “no” to. First of all, most people don't expect that (or even care most of the time). Second of all, the people who love and get you, are going to understand. If they don't, that's on them, not you. As long as your motives are out of love and doing what's best for you and those important people in your life, you're golden.
Don't over-think it.
Let's help encourage one another to cultivate a healthier way of living!
Thanks to our Delight & Be™ Guest Author: Leney Breeden Leney is an artist in the way of film, words, fiber and vintage wares. She runs her business A Girl Named Leney from her tiny wool and vintage filled apartment in Richmond, VA. She's passionate about slow living and, because she's the daughter of a sailor, has a penchant for the sea. You can follow her on Instagram.