Galway Advertiser 2002/2002_01_31/GA_31012002_E1_018.pdf
JUGGLING A C T
DO YOU sometimes feel like you're a performer in a circus, juggling 20 balls in the air at once and feeling terrified that you are going to drop one? If so, you are not alone. Our increasingly hectic lifestyles means many of us are on the go all the time, trying to be all things to all people - Superperson in effect. Even worse, we try to keep a smile on our faces as we do this. Days pass in a blur as we try to remain on top of our workload whether it be in the home, at work or both. Much of the time, we just about manage this juggling act. Many of us have several roles in life - parent, worker, partner, homemaker. Trying to meet all these demands can be exhausting. And if you set particularly high standards and hate saying no to people, then this is doubly true. Public role models who seem to manage every thing effortlessly often don't help either. They smile up from the glossy magazines, beautifully groomed and embracing a couple of gorgeous children in a house straight from the pages of Hello magazine. Their description of their blissful, perfectly organ ised lifestyle leaves the rest of us wondering how we manage to get it all so badly wrong. But delve a bit deeper and you may find that these seemingly have-it-all icons have hit black patches. Remember, Superperson is a myth. Is there an easier way to live life, to be able to enjoy a less frenetic pace and remain in control? Yes, it's simple... learn to organise yourself more efficiently, says Galway based author and teacher of the Alexander Technique, Richard Brennan. This technique involves unlearning physical, mental and emotional habits which cause stress, and taking control of our actions.
Stop and think
busy day seems to be pure indulgence. But by giving yourself s o m e time to organise your life a bit better, you really will save time long term from both a health and practical point of view. "Interestingly, the world ' o r g a n i s e ' comes from the word organ - an internal part of our physi cal body with a specific function. Each organ has its own p r i o r i t i e s and these function together within a whole organism. Just think what would h a p p e n if o u r internal organs were disorganised - for instance digesting food became more impor tant than b r e a t h i n g or healing a cut b e c a m e more crucial than the heart regulator. In a very short time there would be chaos." Brennan says our lives operate similarly, an unor ganised lifestyle can lead to chaos which often manifests itself in stress. We can o r g a n i s e our selves far more efficiently by planning ahead, priori tising and clearing out the clutter from our lives, he suggests He offers the following tips which may help you get on top of things and lead a happier and easier life:-
In the morning
* Make sure you have a good reliable alarm clock. Place it out of reach so that you have to get out of bed to switch * Get up 15 minutes earlier than usual * Prepare as much as possible the night before, eg; by setting the breakfast table * Do not answer the phone if you are running late * Do not switch on the television or allow the children to do so as this will only make you late * Have an area in the house where you put everything you need to take with you for the day * Leave at least 10 minutes before you have to in order to allow time for heavy traffic * Just before leaving the house, pause to make sure you have remembered everything
* Keep your desk free from clutter and tidy it at least once a day * Keep all the things you use regularly close at hand * Have an "in" tray, an "out" tray, and a "going home" tray * Spend the first 15 minutes of the day organising your thoughts * Spend an hour every Monday arranging your week's * Allow an extra 30 minutes a day for unexpected problems * Never try to do more in one day than is realistic * Prioritise, then do the essential things first * Do not take on any further commitments if you arc already overloaded * Learn to say "no" politely * Do not defend or make excuses for your decision to say "no" * Get a good easy-to-read diary * If you are delayed, phone and let the other person know * If you have to break an appointment, don't do it at the last minute. Most people do not mind rescheduling appointments if they know at least 24 hours in advance * Spend at least 20 minutes at the end of each day reviewing the day's achievements and preparing for the next day
* Keep the house tidy * If you are very busy, get a cleaner * Have a wastepaper bin in each room * Once a month get rid of the clutter - the less you have the easier it is to keep the house clean * Keep all work surfaces clear * Have clear, easy-to-read notice boards, calendars and shopping lists * Once a year, throw out all the clothes you have not worn that year * Wash up after a meal or put the plates straight into the dishwasher * Get a good can-opener that is easy to use * Keep meal-times sacred - no television. Take a tip from the French - take plenty of time to enjoy food and company * Get the children into the habit of helping you * Always clear up after one job before you move on to the next * Put tools away when you have finished with them * Only watch television programmes that you really want to watch. * Do the housework you hate most first
'Our lives operate similarly, an unorganised lifestyle can lead to chaos which often manifests itself in stress' - Richard Brennan.
Begin by taking a moment to stop and think, he says. "We often rush into situations without thinking about the conse quences, frequently mak ing mistakes which could have been avoided. We become irritated when the people in front of us in a queue or on the roads seem to be taking their time. We are often s o totally goal oriented that we do not even see why it is important to consider our actions as long as the job gets done as fast as possible." We are often pres surised to do s o many activities in a limited time thai the thought of paus ing for a moment in a