Catholic Husband

Love / Lead / Serve

Room to Breathe

We all need a little wiggle room. In the course of a week, most of your time is spoken for. Living an overly burdened schedule can lead to exhaustion, burnout, and you not giving your very best every day. You deserve, and you need, room to breathe.

Idle hands are the Devil's tools, there's little doubt about that. Idleness can get anyone in trouble very quickly, but room to breathe isn't about being idle, it's about taking the time to manage a slowdown. There are plenty of things that you could do during your downtime, but I'd be willing to bet that you know what your favorites are.

On Saturday afternoon, after a full week of tending to Benedict, writing, and a top-to-bottom house cleaning, I'm ready for a break. In all of the busyness, I don't have time for one of my favorite downtime activities, computer games. I’m not a big gamer and I don’t really care about the outcome. It’s a little escape that lets me do something different. I have two main games that I'll play, Civilization V or Modern Warfare 3. During the week, I'll spend no time playing at all because, honestly, I've got a full schedule just working towards my goals. So on Saturday, after the chores are done, and on Sunday, I'll take the time, while Benedict sleeps, to play for a while.

In those times, I'm not worried about all of the other things that I could be doing. I'm not concerned with looming deadlines or how much writing I could get done. I'm not thinking about other ways that I could be doing with that precious time. Instead, I'm recognizing that I need room to breathe and that by taking this time to play, I won't be tempted during the week.

Downtime is crucial for goal attainment. Time management is all about doing the right thing in the moment and not being concerned about anything else. When I know that I'll have time to play during the weekend, I can sit down and write with a clear mind. When I know that I've scheduled time to write during the week and that the household cleaning is done, I can play on the weekend with a clean conscience.

If you overload your schedule, you won't be successful. Life is all about balance, and balance demands that you give yourself space. The time is there, you just have to allocate it.