Your schedule is a product of how you allocate time.
Each day we have allocated our time. There are the eight or nine theoretical hours you are sleeping. The two and a half hours you are eating. The eight hours you are working, (and sometimes more.) And then then the two and half hours you spend as “recreational time” whether watching TV, exercising, spending time with your spouse/child(ren). You decide all of this time.
Your schedule is as full or empty as you make it.
Your to do list. Your calendar. The sports and events your family does are all decided by you (and probably you and your spouse.)
Whether or not you have time to go to coffee with friends is decided by you. Your calendar does not decide these things. You are not owned by this digital or paperback calendar with words and time written in it.
Your calendar is filled by you and only you have the power to stop filling it.
But when it is full, you are then considered “busy”.
So when your friends ask you how you have been and you reply with, “So busy.” It is not because of external factors that make you busy. It is your own fault. You make yourself busy. And the issue with getting busy is, busyness breed more busyness.
You have to start purging your schedule of the things that do not belong on your calendar. You have to develop your priorities and cut out the cancer like a surgeon with a scalpel, cut out the parts that do not belong.
Too many work meetings? Running late? Start rescheduling them. I would venture a guess when your work meetings regularly run after hours, you regularly start choosing the fast option for dinner rather than cooking. Paying a few dollars for some cheeseburgers, fries, and pop becomes the easier option rather than getting home and preparing dinner.
Then, because you are SO busy, you have to reschedule whatever it was you were supposed to be doing instead of working and getting you and the family dinner. So you reschedule it to another day. Not because you have time on that other day, but instead because you need to reschedule your plans and that day now has too much going on and you will definitely be exhausted by the end of it.
And thus, busy-ness breeds busy-ness.
When was the last time politely said in a meeting, “I’m sorry, I need to go. My family is waiting for me.” In the meeting notorious for running past the scheduled end time?
Does your schedule rule you? Do you actually stop and calculate when you need to go to bed to get eight hours of sleep?
Or, like a sickness, you do wait until you have symptoms of being tired before you get in bed?
When was the last time you set your priorities in life, built your calendar around your priorities, and purged the rest?