I was recently at a dinner and overheard one of the guests saying how he couldn’t listen to his ex say one more time how busy she is. Another guest chimed in, agreeing how her ex must be one of the busiest guys on the planet because he never stops talking about it. I smiled politely, and then responded to both of them: “Who isn’t busy?”
Unless you have deliberately chosen a life of leisure, the truth is that most of us are struggling just to make it through our day, getting as much accomplished as possibly while carving out, hopefully, a little time to relax with friends, family, even by ourselves. When that doesn’t happen, when we become so busy that we are unable to have a moment’s peace, that’s when the anxiety starts. And the complaining to anyone who will listen, even those who don’t want to hear how busy we are.
There once was a time when I, too, would complain how busy I was. I now look back on those days and understand why. Like so many other people, I wasn’t budgeting my time appropriately and as a result was becoming stressed unnecessarily. The ironic part is today I am busier than I ever have been in my life. I am also happier, too. Why? I have learned how to have it all.
Of course, everyone’s “all” is different. My all includes being a successful divorce attorney, TV and radio personality, wife, mom, doggy mommy, family member, and friend. Whew! Just hearing myself describing what I do each day is overwhelming. Thankfully, in reality, it isn’t. That is because I have developed a few tricks along the way for balancing my responsibilities, while still allowing for “me” time. And once you hear how, you will see how easily you can do it, too.
First and foremost, the key is to get organized. But don't do a little bit here, and a little there. Instead, take to your computer or a pen and paper, and make a list. Then apply that list to a calendar, designating specific tasks to each day of the week.
When you do, make sure that the tasks you are assigning are ones you can complete according to your lifestyle – working parent, stay-at-home parent, someone who travels during the week, whatever. Your lifestyle is your backdrop, and it encompasses the things that never go away, at least not in the short term. If you set up an agenda as I have, managing your schedule will not only become easier, you will also manage it with less stress.
You are probably thinking right about now that you have heard all that before. Yes, being organized is important. But it is also easy to overlook, and the reason is a lack of perspective. And by perspective I mean, knowing what is important and what is not. It means taking a moment to stop, take a deep breath, and appreciate all that you have in your life, what is fleeting and what is not. It means evaluating what those things are and devoting the time to them they deserve. For me, my family is everything. They are what keep me grounded. My husband and daughter, Sofia, are my foundation.
I am lucky. It is my family's love and support that empowers me to wake up each morning and tackle my day, which is not always so easy. Most of the time, in fact, it is exhausting. Still, for others, that day-to-day is harder, which is why, even with my hectic schedule, I always set aside time during the year to give back. Whether by doing pro bono work or assisting my favorite charities, I know I, too, have the capacity to make a difference. And that makes all the difference to me.
Vikki Ziegler is the star of Bravo TV’s Untying the Knot, the founder and CEO of DivorceDating, Author of The Pre-Marital Planner: Your Complete Legal Guide to a Perfect Marriage, and a co-founder of and partner at Ziegler & Zemsky, LLC. To learn more about Vikki, visit www.vikkiziegler.com or follow her on Twitter and Facebook.