What a Salad Taught Me About Time Management

This past weekend, I had the opportunity to spend a couple days away to recharge at the Pink Impact women’s conference in Fort Worth, Texas.  With nearly 8,000 women in attendance, the local restaurants were doing their best to keep up with the crowds, but waiting in a long line was to be expected.  Because of this, I chose to grab something from Salata, a restaurant where you go through a cafeteria line and design your own salad by choosing from available toppings.

The woman in front of me had never been there before and was overwhelmed by the options in front of her. Paralyzed by the thought of making so many decisions, she told the girl assembling her salad “A little of everything please”.

The girl began adding lettuce and veggies to the bowl – carrot, tomato, cucumber, onion – and the woman’s strategy seemed to be working out fine.

Then she got to the section with the more unusual toppings, hesitated and said “Are you sure you want everything?”

The woman nodded in agreement and the girl hesitantly kept piling toppings in the bowl – beets, corn, chickpeas, bean sprouts, strawberries, and feta. To top it all off, the poor woman got to the dressing section and chose 3 different dressings!

I wish I was making this up, but I am not. My stomach turned as I thought of how this salad was going to taste.

Then it dawned on me. This is what we do as women. We are so paralyzed by the choices available to us, and the fear of missing out, that we keep piling more stuff on our proverbial plates. When deciding how to spend our time, we start with the basics of home, family, and work.  Then we get on Pinterest or Facebook and see all of the things we could also be doing –

Baking our own bread! Raising chickens! Digital scrapbooking! Capsule wardrobes! Sustainable gardening!  

The truth is, all of these options are good – but not all at the same time.

To make a tasty salad (and a sweet life) you must be selective about what you add in the mix.

So what do you do if your salad of life is a hot mess right now? First you have to get back to basics. Learn to love the taste of some crisp romaine with a little tomato on top. Drop anything that is not absolutely necessary. Then slowly add some things back in – your favorite things. With each thing you add make sure it harmonizes with what you already have going on.  Remember, you are in charge of how you spend your time  – and what you put in your salad.

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