If you’re reading this article you will know that ‘busy’ can quickly become a word that defines our weeks and lives. Tre shared on Sunday the importance of staying fuelled and fulfilled during 2018. We thought it would be helpful to hear from 3 people who lead 'busy' lives what their top tip is for getting the most out of their week.
Wife, mum to 3 kids, working part time.
Top tip: PLANNING
Like most mums, my weeks are filled with thousands of thoughts and lists of things to do. Weeks can rush by in a blur of busyness and yet I can end a week feeling like I haven’t done anything fulfilling or life giving.
Therefore planning is essential for getting the most out of my week. My calendar is my friend and I thrive on having a schedule!
I need to plan work patterns; kids’ activities; food shopping; housework and all the other mundane stuff. I also need to make time for the people and activities that bring life to my family and me, yet can so easily fall to the wayside.
This includes time to connect with God, time to relax with my kids, time for exercise (OK not much!) and time to catch up with friends, which is vital for an extrovert, like myself.
Some might say that a schedule is restrictive, but I find that it helps to combat the stress of busyness. It allows me to give my best yes to what’s important and to say no to the things that I cannot commit to that week.
Jesus follower, Husband, Dad (Full time and Respite), Son, Brother, GP
Top Tip: CONNECTION
Connection is key; connection with God and connection in relationship/community. Work can be tough and busy (NHS) and our kids' homework and extra-curricular activities seem all consuming at times. My wife Kathleen and I have a non-negotiable time together on a Thursday morning (connection) with a predictable pattern of running in the wilds of the North Coast followed by coffee, reflection and adventure planning. Much less of what I do in my week would be possible without the sacrifices Kathleen makes daily to support, equip and love me and our family. We are blessed with friends and family who we are intentional about connecting with. They make us laugh, challenge us, inspire us to love God more and recharge us for whatever the rest of the week brings. I hope that is reciprocal. Respite fostering weekends (connection) fuel our hearts to strive to love people more. Meeting with colleagues to pray (connection) before a busy day refocuses my heart and mind on all God can do for people if I’m open to be used by him.
Look outside yourself. When you focus on other people and ensure connection with friends, that fuels your life and your own problems and situations lose their magnitude. It is then that you will be equipped to strive towards the purpose God has for you.
Hayley Blues- Drummond
Follower of Jesus, wife to Phil and part of the team at CCV.
Top Tip: TAKE FIVE
I often get to the end of the week and think ‘where on earth did that go?!’. In a flurry of activity and commitments, a week slips by and we can often be left wondering what we actually did with it.
And this will inevitably continue, unless we remember to take a moment. While I am very much on a journey with this, one thing I am learning is that no matter how full the week becomes, we need to take time to engage with the people, activities and spaces that bring us life.
In the midst of demanding schedules and overstretch we can feel ourselves begin to fray around the edges; when we feel we are being pulled in every direction, and there’s just not enough space, enough time, enough you – take five.
One of my significant ‘fives’ each week is Saturday morning. Phil and I head out for breakfast (ok, brunch), taking time to actually talk undistracted by phones, emails or anything else. If, like us, you have the gift of a morning, or a day, embrace it! Enjoy a walk, meet a friend for coffee, spend time with family - whatever gives you the room to breathe, renew and recharge.
Many of us won’t have that kind of time available today – it could be a busy day at work, multiple school picks ups or any number of other commitments. On these days, take five minutes. Read your favourite blog, contact the friend you’ve been meaning to catch up with, walk a lap around your office (or garden, or wherever you find yourself), or simply be still.
And on the days when even five minutes feels like too big an ask, take five seconds. Take a deep breath, still your heart and remind yourself of Jesus’ words, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” Matt 11:28 (NIV)
We hope these tips are helpful for you in the weeks to come as you too make the most out of the time that you have, remaining fuelled and fulfilled in 2018.