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November 29, 2023 4 mins

Look forward a few weeks to feel less overwhelmed

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Speaker 1 (00:03):
Welcome to Before Breakfast, a production of iHeartRadio. Good Morning,
This is Laura. Welcome to the Before Breakfast podcast. Today's
tip is to map out a busy season. When you've
got a lot going on for a month or more,

(00:24):
it can be helpful to broaden your time horizon a bit.
That way, you will feel more in control even if
life feels complex. So this episode is airing as we
are going into the holiday season. For many folks, December
features a lot of extras, extra parties, extra travel, extra activities,

(00:50):
and responsibilities. When life is busy, we need to simultaneously
do two things. One is focusing on the immediate day.
Do you know what's happening today? Do you have a
plan for today? Can you make it through today? You'll
get to rest up again before tomorrow, so you don't

(01:12):
need to worry too much about that. But I also
find it as helpful to have a rough idea of
the upcoming landscape. The unknown is scarier than the known,
even if the known is complex. If you were hurtling
on a raft down a river through a cave, would
you rather have a flashlight or not? Personally, I would

(01:36):
prefer to have the flashlight better to see those rocks
and stalactites than not. So here is a strategy. Use
a paper calendar to keep track of anything extra you
need to think about, anything time specific for the upcoming month,
or so you don't need anything fancy, print out a

(01:58):
calendar page showing the month of December, or maybe some
nonprofit has sent you a calendar for the year as
a freebie. Rip out the December page and put it
somewhere you can see. Take a few minutes and really
think this through, because in my experience sometimes the extras
haven't made it on too. Let's say your daily work calendar.

(02:22):
Do you have any kid performances, any work holiday events,
any community celebrations. Are there holiday festivities you'd like to attend?
When are you traveling or when are you hosting people?
Would you like to go to any religious observances during
this time? Now, obviously you can do all this electronically,

(02:43):
but I think more of us are visual than like
to admit, and by seeing all of it in front
of you, it is possible to get a good sense
of the rhythm of the upcoming month. I did this
and found that while some weekends were pretty full, others
actually weren't. There are four weekends in December, and there

(03:03):
were several weekend days with no extra holiday events. Yet
things didn't look nearly as intimidating when I looked several
weeks ahead. I sometimes do this for the end of
May and the beginning of June, and sometimes for the
start of the school year, as those tend to be
busy times for me. Maybe you have some other time

(03:25):
in your life that is generally more full than other times.
If so, simultaneously taking things day by day and getting
a good sense of the upcoming landscape can help you
pace yourself. You might see that a weekend day is
open and you can decide to purposefully not put something

(03:45):
there to give yourself a breather. Or you might see
that you have a break between work trips and it's
going to be possible to get together with a friend.
But if you don't have your flashlight, you probably won't
see this. Looking forward helps us approach time with more
of a sense of calm. In the meantime, this is Laura.

(04:09):
Thanks for listening, and here's to making the most of
our time. Thanks for listening to before breakfast. If you've
got questions, ideas, or feedback, you can reach me at
Laura at Laura vandercam dot com. Before Breakfast is a

(04:36):
production of iHeartMedia. For more podcasts from iHeartMedia, please visit
the iHeartRadio app, Apple Podcasts, or wherever you listen to
your favorite shows.

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Laura Vanderkam

Laura Vanderkam

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