How to Make the Most of Your 24-Hour Day: Part 2

How to Make the Most of Your 24-Hour Day

Last week, I was recording a podcast with Andy Andrews and he asked the million-dollar question, “How do you do it all?”

My response was simply this, “While I do juggle a number of balls, there are many more more balls I’ve chosen to drop or hand off to someone else.”

Re-read what I just wrote. Yes, I’ve selectively chosen to drop balls. And I’m okay with that.

I Tried to Do It All & Failed

However, for a long time, I wasn’t okay with that. I tried to do way too much. I said “yes” to many more opportunities than I had time or energy for.

I’m Type A and have a very high-driving personality. I’m the kind who doesn’t want to admit that I can’t do it all. So you can imagine that it’s hard for me to say “no.”

But when I hit rock bottom a few years ago and realized that my health, my marriage, my home, and my life as a whole was out of whack because of being overextended, I had to get radical and just start saying no to all non-necessities.

Stripping Out the Non-Necessities

As I chronicled in Say Goodbye to Survival Mode, once I stripped my life of all non-necessities, I then had enough breathing room in my life to determine what I call my Best Stuff List. This is a list of the very few things I want to wrap my time and energy around.

To come up with the Best Stuff List, I had to fast forward in my mind to 25 years from now and think what things would be a priority then. I want to live now thinking of finishing well. And when you consider what’s going to really matter in 25 years, it pares down your life to the true priorities.

My Best Stuff List

I now hold up everything in my life in light of my Best Stuff List and those few things I’ve determined are true priorities. Everything — from opportunities to commitments to everyday responsibilities — is compared against my Best Stuff List to see whether it’s in line with these priorities or not.

This might seem harsh or rigid, but in reality, it’s freeing for me. Because I don’t want to waste my days spinning my wheels on things that don’t really matter.

What is a priority for one person won’t necessarily be a priority for another. And what’s a priority for one season, won’t necessarily be a priority for another.

But stripping away all the fluff and getting to the heart of what is actually a priority for you at this season of life will change the way you live. And it will empower you to stop feeling obligated to say “yes” to things that aren’t important for you and will only crowd out the room for what is important.

How To Make the Most Of Your 24-Hour Day

What To Do About the Guilt

It’s not always easy to say “no.” I want to help everyone. I want to volunteer for a lot of things. I want to accept many different opportunities that come my way.

But I also want to take care of my health. I want to grow in my spiritual walk. I want to be a loyal friend. And I don’t want to give my family the leftovers of my time and energy.

So I have a choice: I can exhaust myself trying to do most everything. Or I can choose to say “no” to most things and only do a few things well.

Sometimes, It’s Hard to Say “No”

Just today, I had to say a hard “no” — and it hurt my heart. A dear woman asked if I would help her with her book project. She wanted someone to look over it and give her honest feedback.

I love to do this sort of thing as often as I’m able, but because my blogging/writing time is full right now between blogging and writing my own book, I knew that the time for helping her with her book could only come out of family time.

At a different season — when I’m not in the middle of my own book project — I could probably carve out time to help her. But right now, I have to look at my priorities and realize that I have to prioritize family time over other projects right now.

And so I wrote her and said no as graciously as I could and she was so understanding in her response to me — which I was grateful for. Even though my heart really wanted to help her, my heart knows my family has to come first in this situation.

What Matters Most

I only have one life to live. When I say “yes” to one thing, it means I must say “no” to something else.

At the end of the day, I don’t want to regret the things I’ve said “yes” to. If saying “no” to many great things allows me the space in my life to say “yes” the best things, it’s worth it.

…to be continued later this week.

Do you struggle to say “no” sometimes? What have you said “no” to in order to say “yes” to the best? I’d love to hear!

photo credit; photo credit

 

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DIY Project: Ferris Wheel Scarf (a simple, 3-step scarf!)

Ferris-Wheel-Scarf

This is a guest post from Abigail who blogs at The Modern Prairie Girl

The Ferris Wheel Scarf was inspired by the simplicity and fun times spent at hometown fairs with family and best friends. Its simple design is fabulously straightforward.

If you’ve never sewn a stitch (or are known for messing up whatever you touch at the sewing machine!), you will find this scarf perfect for starters. This makes a perfect gift, too.

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Sew! What are you waiting for? Have fun and please share your success story with me on the Modern Prairie Sewing Facebook page or via my email abiamerican92 @ netins.net

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Ferris Wheel Scarf (A Simple 3-Step Scarf!)

Finished flat measurements: 19 ¼” x 7 ¼”

Required Supplies:

  • ½ yard fabric*
  • Matching or coordinating thread
  • Sewing machine
  • Sewing pins
  • Scissors

*Notes on fabric: Make your scarf fun and unique by using a wide variety of fabric types. I would suggest a cotton quilting weight just like I used on these shown samples. You could also make your scarf out of cotton rayon, cotton voile, cotton velveteen (absolutely the best for Christmas gift giving!), and home décor. Really, this scarf is so versatile and crazy, go all out and make a scarf from each suggested fabric weights, types and styles! Have fun!

Cut it Out: Cut your scarf fabric at 40” x 15 ½”

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Let’s Make it!

1. Right sides together, sew long sides together. Press long seam open. Make this step easy on yourself, by rolling the seam to the middle of your scarf piece and then press it open.

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2. Turn right side out.

3. Press one short end ½” inside, the wrong sides of your fabric will be touching. Tuck raw short end of scarf inside other short end. Pin and sew in place.

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Your scarf is finished! Now wear it to your hometown fair!

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This scarf was designed and made by Abigail A. Long, author of Modern Prairie Sewing: 20 Handmade Projects for You & Your Friends. Visit her blog, The Modern Prairie Girl, for more sewing inspiration.

Modern Prairie Sewing

Note from Crystal: If you love sewing, you’ll definitely want to check out Abigail’s book, Modern Prairie Sewing. She sent me a copy and I fell in love with it… and I don’t even really sew at all! But she made me want to learn how to sew well so I could make some of the beautiful projects in the book.

Modern Prairie Sewing

Modern Prairie Sewing is very well written, the instructions are detailed, and it’s full color. My favorite thing is that there are so many pictures and step-by-step instructions, making it seem doable for even a very novice seamstress like me! Find out more details on the book here.

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