photography of barrel wave
Photo by Emiliano Arano on

Have you ever had a day (or week or month or season) where there was just SO MUCH to do that you weren’t sure how you were going to do it all?

And what happened at the end of it? You somehow managed to do it all, right?

I was thinking about this a few weeks ago when I had a day with a packed schedule (a Very Busy Day). I had just enough time to get everything that was critical (and not much else) done. While I was barreling through my tasks, I thought back to similar days in my life. As long as there are no bad surprises, I’ve always managed to get through them.

Last night, I was talking to my mom about this exact thing. She has a lot going on right now because she’s moving from California to Arizona. She’s selling one house and planning to buy another. And she’s starting a new job. There are so many moving parts in this transition and, understandably, she’s feeling overwhelmed.

But something we (okay, I) forget about a lot when we’re faced with nonstop action is that some tasks do lend themselves to downtime.*

For example, on my recent Very Busy Day, I had to drive about 20 minutes each way to an appointment. During that time, while I had to focus on the road, I was also able to review and mentally prepare for the rest of my day, practice a talk I was giving, and—and this one should not be overlooked—take some deep breaths.

I’m always surprised by the pockets of time that allow me to focus and get my shit together. They’re tucked away inside the folds of endless waves of tasks—you just have to 1) recognize them and 2) leverage them (don’t waste it!) when you find yourself inside of one.

How do you get through packed days/weeks/months? How do you recognize the passive moments and what do you do to leverage them?

*Back-to-back calls excepted. I know there isn’t a lot of downtime hiding in those days. 😫

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