Are You Letting These Time-Zappers Ruin Your Life?

by Toni Hurst Patient Expert

Menopause messes with your internal timetable. For one thing, it almost always comes way earlier than we think it should
I often speak to women who say, "I'm in my mid-forties. I can't be going through menopause, can I?"

Well, yes you can. But add to that the various symptoms of menopause and pretty soon it can feel like menopause is running your life. Hot all the time. Can't sleep. Forget things.

There are time-zappers that were running my life that I've given up, and it has made a great difference. Maybe they'll help you too. They aren't only for women in menopause, but I find that they have helped me since I've started experiencing the symptoms.

Time Zapper 1. Looking for things I've lost-like my keys, cell phone, medicine. I have gotten very good about putting things in the same place. I put my keys on a clip keychain (called a carabiner) that clips to my purse strap. I ALWAYS clip them to that strap. Amazingly, that way they are always there when I want them! I put my cell phone in the same spot in my purse and I leave it there, even when it is charging. I put my morning meds by the fridge cuz I have orange juice first thing in the morning, and my evening meds by my toothbrush. I never move them.

Time Zapper 2. Cooking & cleaning. I am the QUEEN of cooking on Sunday and making that last almost to the end of the week. A baked chicken becomes chicken pot pie one night (with frozen chunk vegetables and frozen pie crust or easy-make biscuits) and the carcass is made into chicken stock for vegetable soup that lasts at least 2 days (leftovers can be frozen). Ok, I admit it, my husband and I have cereal for dinner every so often, maybe once a month. I refuse to stress about dinner. And I clean up (or ask him to help) before bed so I don't have a pile of dishes in the morning.

Time Zapper 3. Cramming too much into the end of the day. I have always been guilty of this. I say I'm going to bed and then I see that the laundry needs to be put into the washing machine, and the toilet needs to be cleaned, and maybe I should clean out that shelf in the fridge that needs it, and probably I should wash the dog's dish, and write a quick note to my son in Hawaii, and...and. LET IT GO. When you're tired, go to bed. Sleep is so elusive now anyway that if you're tired at 9, go to bed. Don't try to get everything done. There is always more to do than hours in the day.

Time Zapper 4. Stressing over how I look. I used to try on two or three outfits in the morning before I left for work. Now I kinda figure out the night before what I'm going to wear in the morning. I have just a few pairs of standby shoes (well, my husband would disagree-I have LOTS of shoes but just a few that I wear all the time), so choosing them in the morning is easy. I work at a place where business casual is fine, so I have my tan pants and my black pants. I have three pairs of each and that is essentially ALL I wear. The tops vary, but one day I wear black pants and the next day I wear tan. Easy. Maybe once in awhile I'll wear navy blue or dark brown. Now that I think about it, on those days that I opt for navy or brown, I try on a few different tops, wasting time! I like to look nice and my clothes are clean and wrinkle-free (cuz I hang them up to dry most of the time). But ever since I've simplified my wardrobe, I spend less time shopping, less time creating "outfits," less time studying my closet, and less time getting out the door in the morning.

Hope these help! Let me know what time zappers you've conquered.

Toni Hurst
Meet Our Writer
Toni Hurst

Toni wrote for HealthCentral as a patient expert for Menopause.