You promise to get to something when things slow down. Maybe it’s the desire to spend more time with God or with your spouse. Perhaps it’s to visit a friend or family member. Maybe you want to work out more consistently or serve your community. All good things, but they simply won’t fit into your schedule. You’ll get to them when the pace slows down.
Except the pace never slows down. It is out of control.
I know there are seasons when it is necessary… for a time…to go fast and furious. The problem is we have created a life that requires us to constantly engage mentally and expend all of our energy. The season of busyness never ends and your soul is feeling the weight of it. And here we are, in the midst of one of the busiest seasons in life and ministry. How will you make sure to catch your breath and regroup before jumping into the next thing? Here is one secret to help you create a healthy rhythm.
My friend Patti first introduced me to this idea. We were attending a conference together and she was sharing with me how she’d set aside a few days to regroup once she got home, before jumping into the next thing. She knew that travel would be long and tiring. She realized that she’d have a few household things to catch up on and needed time to reconnect with family. She also wanted time to reflect on what she learned while away, which often causes her to reorganize the days and months ahead.
I never really thought about that before. My busy seasons had no beginning or end…they just ran together. If I traveled for a conference and it took me through the weekend and I never had a day off…I just jumped right back in when I got back. I didn’t take time to breathe or pull myself together. If I discovered some valuable things I wanted to integrate into my life, I never thought through how that actually might happen. It was just another “to-do” on top of everything else, and eventually got squeezed out by all the other things on my list. No downtime. No adjustments. Everything just went back to normal.
I have come to understand and appreciate Patti’s wisdom. We all need a re-entry plan. You may not be traveling to a conference but you are navigating various seasons in your life and they tend to bleed into one big mess of busyness. If we are not careful, we will run on fumes and eventually find ourselves overwhelmed and depleted.
If you are in the midst of a busy season, how will you regroup when it’s over? What kind of stop-gap do you need to put into place to make sure this season doesn’t flow into the next?
If you want to make time for the things you’ve been putting off, how do you need to re-organize and re-enter the pace of life? Look at your day to day and see how your schedule reflects (or not) your desires and priorities. What do you need to stop? What do you want to start?
I constantly keep these things in front of me. I stop at the end of every week and every quarter and ask if I am happy with the way I have decided to spend my time, based on what I have said are my priorities, and make adjustments as I go. It’s not perfect by any means, but I continue to discover ways to be less caught up in the chaos and more grounded in the important things.
As you enter into one of the busiest seasons, put your re-entry plan into place and create space to re-evaluate before moving forward.