I was a little nervous about how I was going to manage my time and all of the responsibilities I have when I started graduate school. I didn't want the things that matter most: family, temple worship, scripture study, etc to be neglected. As I was looking through notebooks not long ago, I found a Time Out For Women talk from Hillary Weeks from 2008. She gave a talk about finding balance. She listed 4 tips that I have found helpful.
1. Do what Heavenly Father wants you to do first and then you will open up time.
Man, is this true! If I start the day with scriptures and prayer, I never have the guilt hanging over me all day and in fact feel like I have clarity of mind and better discernment about how to spend my day. Sometimes I might feel a prompting to take dinner or do service for someone. I am trying to act on those promptings and not tell myself that I don't have the time. I do.
2. Reads scriptures. I try to schedule 30 minutes each day for scripture study. I am currently doing the BOM365 program on Instagram and it has been great. More about that here. Another thing that has helped me is something I saw from Al Fox Carraway. She challenged all of her followers to get their scriptures read each day BEFORE they looked at social media. Let me tell you, it works!
3. Take time for yourself. This is a lot easier now that all my kiddos are in school all day. I try to schedule some time every few weeks with treasured friends. I have been known to go see a "chick flick: by myself during the day and it is FANTASTIC. Sometimes I might need a nap. There is no shame in listening to your body. When it says you need to slow down, take a nap, work out, or veg out; do it.
4. Good. better best. I love this talk. I have read it so many times that I feel like I have it memorized. I ask myself on a fairly regular basis, how important the obligation is and let the answer guide me. Sometimes I have to "no" to things when I sense there is something more important that needs my attention. I can't make it to every single basketball game or athletic event that my girls cheer at but I can make it to most. I can know where I need to be at that moment in time.
I love this verse of scripture: (2 Nephi 9:51)
"Wherefore, do not spend money for that which is of no worth, nor your labor for that which cannot satisfy. Hearken diligently unto me, and remember the words which I have spoken; and come unto the Holy One of Israel, and feast upon that which perisheth not, neither can be corrupted, and let your soul delight in fatness.
When I seek after those things that have lasting meaning, I always seem to find time for the things that matter most. I don't have the best decorated house on the block or cook gourmet meals or run marathons (Kudos tho those of you who do!) but I rest my head on my pillow every night knowing that I have done everything My Heavenly Father has wanted/needed me to do. I may not have it all figured out, just ask anyone in my family. But I don't feel overwhelmed very often and I am better able to say "no" to the things that are of little worth.
Here is a fun song from Hilary to help keep perspective. :O)