Have you ever had that feeling that you are already behind before you even get out of bed? You know that nagging thought that “if I could just have 2 weeks to catch up, I’d feel like I wasn’t drowning.” Yes, we’ve all been there.
Juggling deadlines and goals can be invigorating and fun, but what if the relentless demands are getting out of control? How can you get to a better place? Here are some things to think about:
Get it out of your head and into a trusted system. It doesn’t matter what the system is; sticky notes, a paper calendar, online calendar, index cards … get the reminders and tasks out of your head and into one place that works for you. I’ve recently been reminded of just how important that is; I didn’t mark my calendar to pick up my daughter at an after-school activity. Yes, that’s right, I forgot to pick her up! Long story short, all was fine, but I ended up taking five excited and terrified 10 year-olds to Acres of Terror as a token of apology and to ease my guilt.
The flight attendants have it right; you need to put on your own oxygen mask first! If you are running on empty, you won’t be able to be the person you need to be for your spouse, your kids, your friends, your co-workers, your customers. Get the sleep you need, eat well, drink lots of water, be physically active, connect with others socially (and the list goes on). Take time for yourself!
Change your “to-do” list to a “get-to-do” list. Think in terms of opportunities, not obligations. Monitor your words for a day and see how much you tell others about all you “have to” do. What if you chose different words and shared what you “get to do” … would that give you a different perspective?
If you have too much on your “get-to-do” list, determine what to delegate. If others can do ‘it’ reasonably well, then delegate ‘it’! Oh, I know, it’s hard to give up control and let someone else take over for you. Think about the benefits of delegating; is it worth it? Also, maybe you can find some things to stop doing, and then, actually STOP DOING them!
Control what you can; let go of the rest. There’s so much to worry about, but worrying will not solve the problems of this world. Determine what you can control — your behavior, your choices, your activities, your attitude — and work on being intentional in those areas. Let go of the rest.
There are some things I know for sure: things will not slow down and the only constant in this world is change. Figure out how you can feel confident at the beginning of the day and satisfied at the end of the day. I’m on the journey with you … I hope to never, ever forget to pick up my 10 year-old again, even though I had the “opportunity” to take a trip to Acres of Terror! (It was fun, by the way, even though I had to be the tough grown-up and not one of the screaming girls!)