4 Problems Your Schedule Is Causing You

I remember the day my mom forgot my sister at school. She pulled up to the car line, running late after work. We piled into the minivan, and, in a rush, she drove off without one kid. Don’t freak out. She realized the back seat was too quiet within a few seconds and circled back around. It’s a funny story decades later, but now that I’m an adult, I totally see how this happened.

It is so easy to cram our schedules full of activities that even the most caring parents become forgetful, stressed, or burdened. My mom was a busy parent with so much on her mind that she sped off without a child! I am now the busy parent, also guilty of stuffing my days with too many things. They’re all good things, but that doesn’t make managing them all any less burdensome. Even if you’re super organized, there are costs to being Mr. Do It All. Here are 4 problems your schedule is causing you.

1. Burnout

This looks really cool during a car race. Not so cool in your personal life. Burnout feels like running on fumes, and nobody performs their best that way. When you feel burnt out, your patience likely dims and relationships suffer. We read in Genesis 2:2 that God rested after creating the world, which reminds us that rest is a beneficial rhythm. It will help us avoid burnout. Sundays at my house mean doing zero work and just spending time connecting through games, art, and other fun things. To dodge burnout, we must be intentional about creating moments for rest.

2. Frustration

I hate missing deadlines at work. It means I’m behind and makes me feel like I’m letting people down. It doesn’t happen often, but when I miss a deadline, I get easily frustrated. It’s not like I miss them on purpose. I just have a lot of writing assignments each month and don’t always juggle them perfectly. My inability to juggle is not to blame. The problem is usually my schedule. I’m sure you’ve felt the same way. When our schedules are so jam-packed that we can’t handle it, we start to feel frustrated either with other people or with ourselves. Frustration never produces our best.

3. Separation

If you’re like me, you’re a busy parent. But I have heard it said that the only people who will remember we worked late 20 years from now will be our kids. Overloading our schedules leads us to say things like, “Sorry, I can’t make it.” This stings when our kids are on the receiving end. The same goes for our wives. They should get our best, not our leftovers. An overcrowded schedule cuts into time with her. Before you know it, you’ll start drifting apart, feeling more like part-time roommates instead of lifelong teammates. Replace what pulls you apart with things that bring you together. Jesus modeled connection by sitting with people often. We read about him attending a wedding, providing feasts for crowds, and dining with a tax collector. Examine your schedule. Trim what’s not essential. Intentionally build margin into your life so you can be present more and make lasting memories. You’ll feel happier and less burdened.

4. Discouragement

Even the best jugglers drop something now and again, and you’re probably not a world-class juggler. You’re going to fall short. You’re going to miss an event. You may even forget a kid sometimes (Sorry, Mom!). When you feel disheartened because your schedule gets overwhelming, remember the words of Psalm 55:22, which say to “Cast your burden on the Lord, and he will sustain you.” It’s OK to want to do it all for your family. If it all gets to be too heavy, sit and remember God sustains us through hard times.

Sound off: What activities crowd your schedule the most?

Huddle up with your kids and ask, “How do you feel when you are super busy?”