The Secrets of Doing It All

If you want to learn about how you can do it all, you've come to the right place!  Today, I'll tell you my secrets to doing it all.

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Over the last few weeks, I've noticed both in blogland and in my own "drafts" folder, there have been quite a few posts about how we need to be refreshed, need more time in the day, feel like we're leaving things out and other posts along these lines.  The truth is, our society values busyness.  We are brought up thinking that we have to be involved in this, volunteer for that, go to this or that event and a whole myriad of other things to have a good life.  But you know what?  We're so wrong.

One of my greatest fears is that I will let things pass me by because I am too busy to be still and to soak it in.  If you've been around here a while, you may recall that my theme for this year is Soak It In.  And I'm really trying to do that.

I won't apologize for wanting to do it all.  I won't tell you that I don't constantly try to be better.  And I won't tell you that I have a lot of downtime because I don't.  But I will tell you the things that I'm learning {key word - learning}.

Secret #1: There is no such thing as doing it all.
One of the greatest impediments of doing it all is this notion that we can do it all.  It's really not possible {and for my extremely optimistic self to say something isn't possible, it isn't}.  We can do a lot, but even doing a lot, we're not going to do it all well.

Some time ago, I had to give up the thought that I can do it all.  And you know what?  It made my life easier.  I'll be the first to tell you that I try to do a lot, but I've learned that it's ok to sign up to bring the bag of chips to a preschool party as opposed to making homemade cookies or cupcakes.

Secret #2: Prioritize.
It's important to know what the most important people/things to you in life are and then make sure you're making those people/things your priorities.  For me, it's easy.  My husband, our boys, our families, my relationship with Christ, my job, my friends and exercise are the things that are most important to me.  Sometimes that means I have to stay up late if I want to have a few minutes alone my husband. It means I have to say no to doing something that I might want to do because I know our boys have an activity and I don't want to miss those. It means I may read my Bible and prayer during my lunch break.  It means I plan ahead for my exercise and often run out of the house in the morning to fit it in so I can devote my evenings to the ones I love.

Secret #3: Don't commit if you can't give it your all.
Over the years, I've been involved in lots of different things.  From activities at church to the Junior League to  the Heart Ball.  I know I am/was that woman people saw and thought, "hey, we'll ask Anna to do this.  She can't say no."

Recently, I've learned to say no.  Here's an example for you.

I was super involved in the Junior League when I first started.  I volunteered for any and everything and loved it.  I was over various areas of our largest fundraiser and this year, chaired that fundraiser.  But things have changed.  I have a new job and while it affords me some flexibility, I don't have the ability to be gone several hours every Friday to volunteer at the Boys and Girls Club {and my new position is very community-minded so I'm still able to do things}.  We also have two very active boys and I don't want to miss their soccer / t-ball or whatever else because of meetings.  That, plus some other things and mainly the busyness in my life, has caused me to decide to step down from the League this year.  While I wish I could still be involved and help out, I just can't commit because I know that I can't give it my all.

The same goes for other things.  This sounds horrible to say, but I would absolutely love to be in a Bible study that some women do at our church during the week.  Unfortunately, I can't commit to go but every other week, so I decided not to do it.  During this season of my life, it's just not working, but later, it will.  Even though I'm not participating in this study at church, I'm starting a study with a group of lovely ladies later this week.  I am so thankful that God has answered my prayers to be able to learn more about Him and grow closer to Him in a group of other like-minded women.

Secret #4: Invest your time in what matters.
The last secret I have for you is to invest your time / talents into what matters most to you.  Look at those priorities, look at your commitments and invest yourself into those.  Make sure they align.

I have a list of projects a mile long that I want to complete, recipes pinned that I want to try and things I want to do, but I choose to invest my time in what matters to me.  I choose to sit down at night and play ninja warriors, legos or trains.  I choose to make an effort to not go to sleep when we put the boys to bed so I can spend quality time with my husband.  I choose to watch my favorite shows On Demand.  I choose to plan ahead so that I can get my workouts in and my meals cooked.  I choose to run and workout when I'm able to in the mornings or at lunch.  I choose to live my life and enjoy it and not be stuck in a rut of busyness.  I choose to soak it in.

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