By Kathleen Boucher
Have you ever felt overwhelmed by how much there is to do? Have you ever decided to procrastinate because you did not know where to start? Have you ever been advised to map out how you should reach your destination based on your WHY (which you are told should ‘set you on fire’), only to never start because you don’t know what your WHY is? Have you ever been frustrated because you read or hear how well your colleagues are doing? “That’s nice,” you think, “but I simply don’t care how well you are doing! I care about how well I am doing!” And then you feel guilty for feeling this way! Talk about a Catch 22!
I can remember being in this network marketing company and one of the leaders would forever be singing the praises of this person or that person, talking about the amount of people they brought in to the company or how much they had sold the previous week. And it would cross my mind, “How is this supposed to motivate me?” Indeed, the leaders omitted one very important fact – HOW the individual actually accomplished their superhuman feat the previous week, because the bottom line is that YOU are the person that matters the most to you! You may or may not wish to accomplish the same thing if given the skills to do so. Best intentions aside, have you noticed that life has a sneaky habit of getting in the way?
Let me tell you what happened last week. My husband’s car overheated because the clamps that kept the coolant intact broke. The plan was to have my son come pick up my husband and drive him to the store to get parts to repair the car. So my son stopped to pick up a coffee at Starbucks, where he works, on the way over to collect my husband. Yet when my son when to restart the car, the starter broke, and if that wasn’t enough the phones stopped working in our area at the same time! And I’m not talking about cell phone reception either; I am talking about the landlines. There was a catastrophic event and all the phones were out in the area. Of course, the gas tank on the lawnmower also cracked that very same day. In fact there were so many things that went haywire in two days that it was ridiculous. My response? I laughed, then thought, “How can we solve these problems?” It was time to put our creative problem-solving skills to work!
My husband drove to the car parts store armed with water to replenish the engine should it overheat. Then, my son had CAA bring his car to the house where he and his dad replaced the starter. The phone company resolved the phone problem within 24 hours, and everything else got sorted out. My point is this – it is not your problems that are the issue, but rather how you react to your daily challenges that count. Oh! And remember to see the humor in the ridiculous. Laugh; it certainly cannot hurt.
If you are feeling overwhelmed with the amount you have to do, may I suggest this simple formula? Each day do three things:
- Do one thing you really dislike doing.
- Do one thing that you absolute love doing.
- Do one thing that has a time limit attached to it.
This formula may help you feel that you are moving forward and give you a sense of accomplishment. Let’s say that in your basement is an assortment of items that needs to be thrown out, given away or catalogued. You are feeling stressed because you know it should get done, but you have no time to do it. Is there someone you might pay to do it? Are you able to delegate the task? The neat thing in doing this (no pun intended) is that someone who is not attached to your clutter will probably get it sorted out faster.
Now think about what you love to do. Are you a master at designing? Then make sure you design every day. I love reading and writing. When I fit it into my daily routine I feel energized. What do you need to get done that has a time limit on it? Focus intently on whatever it is, and you will be amazed at how much you get done in a shorter period of time. Have you ever crammed for a test? It’s the same skill! See, you are already good at this!
This formula may seem simple, and it is. Try it! You may find it is a great way to get ‘unstuck’. Then you can pat yourself on the back and tell yourself that you are one step closer to reaching your goals. The amount of things that you have been putting off will gradually decrease. You will feel energized because you have made time for yourself, and you are keeping your commitments. Start each day with gratitude. Know that there are people in your life who care about you. Do one thing at a time and eventually you will see the light at the end of the tunnel. How does that make you feel? Amazing? Guess what – you are!