This is a great piece of advice that I don't always follow, but it is something that I KNOW. So this might be a great example of do as I say, not as I do.
Plan for extra time in your schedule. Some of you are laughing. It's not nice to laugh at me. Oh, are you laughing at the very idea of extra time. I know it is funny.
Stick with me here. This is not time necessarily that will be wasted, but time that creates a buffer so that you aren't running absolutely crazy. If you know it will take 15 minutes to run to the bank, allow 30.
If you know it will take two hours to run to town to buy groceries, allow yourself three instead. Maybe that allows you to stop off for a glass of tea and a bit of time to relax a little or pick up that one extra errand you forgot about before you left the house.
Maybe you are working on a really big project or presentation. Allow yourself an extra few days to let the ideas percolate. This isn't the same thing as procrastination. This works because you have started the project maybe even mostly finished it, but before you have to push send or submit, you can allow the whole thing to sit while you go and do other things and get a fresh perspective.
But how in the world do you find this extra time to build into your schedule?
I'm not exactly sure, but L tells me it starts with 'N' and ends with 'O'. I've heard of it before and I've practiced with it a little here and there. I have even seen some success with it.
But even saying no takes some time to get out of the stuff that you've already signed up for. But it's ok to say no. And you can quote my friend Cindy (she uses her full name all the time) who came and spoke at our women's retreat in October.
"For this season I'm not able/willing/going to do ____."
I used that for the Christmas program when I saw that it would require driving to town seven days a week for a month. I just couldn't bear to make J participate when he didn't want to be involved anyway. It doesn't mean that I will never have J be in a program, just this one. The sky didn't fall. The sun came up the next morning. It was good.
If you're really lucky you can find extra time when someone else is doing the dishes.