When things are crazy.

Today my life feels intense. Even the small things are high priority. There has been no shutting off my phone this weekend, no breaks, no real downtime at all actually. Everything is an important to-do, most of it is last minute and time sensitive, and all of it is for other people. Being a project manager means that my list is actually based on other people, not just myself. Everything that I do is to grease the wheels between teams — to make sure that everything goes smoothly and gets where it needs to be on time. Making things look is easy is rarely ever easy.

I’m actually sitting at a coffee shop with earphones in, but no music playing. That’s how desperate I feel for silence right now.

I’m an introvert with a demanding job that I really love, and today feels especially demanding.

I have some patterns set up for times such as this that save my butt on the regular and help me stay mostly sane and with it.

Get it out. Save your valuable brain space by unloading some clutter. Don’t count on yourself to remember all of the tiny details. Paper or digital, do what works for you. Organize your list by priority. What do you absolutely have to get done before your head hits the pillow tonight? It’s probably less than you think. Before I leave for the day I make a list of my top priorities for the next day.

Make tomorrow easier. Ditch procrastination and do what you can today. If you’re in a busy season and not just having a busy day, tomorrow could be a whole new batch of fires to put out. Nothing feels worse than playing catch up on a Monday morning, and nothing feels better than being free enough to actually tackle last minute requests. This is the hardest thing for me to follow through on, but it has been really worth it when I do.

Do one good thing. Go to a movie, call your mom, cook yourself some dinner. Do at least one small thing today that breaks up the busyness and makes you happy. It’s about a brain break and doing a little self-care. It’s important for me to spend time alone, and I love working in coffee shops – so here I am – drinking a latte, blogging, and trying really hard to not hear anything for a little bit.

Go to bed. If you’re actually busy you probably just rolled your eyes at this idea. I don’t care. I know it’s not realistic to sleep 8 hours every night when your life is crazy, but map out your schedule. When can you sleep? Protect that time. Put it in your calendar if you need to so that you don’t over book. I am at my worst when I’m exhausted, and I need to perform at my best when I’m busy.

Say thank you. To be able to do a job like this is an honor, to be able to love doing it is a privilege. When I’m busy, it’s because big things are happening, and lives are about to change. I’m grateful, because I am helping to build something cool. When gratitude is real, busy feels worth it.

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