If you’re anything like me I know you’ve had those day and weeks. The day where no matter what you do you just keep getting stuff dumped onto your plate. You knock one thing out and then three more things popped up. No matter what you do you’re not getting ahead. Deadlines are approaching and maybe passing. Before you know it it’s 10 PM and you’re still trying to knock those items off your list.
Recently I’ve had one of those days. In all reality that day turned into a period of almost ten days. In addition to having a full-time job I run a business. Out of the blue I was forced into a situation unrelated to either job that required a ton of time and attention. So, I got to work. In the process of doing that I neglected my to do list which kept racking up items.
You have been in these situations before. Working till the odd hours of the night to meet deadlines all while trying to keep others happy. You begin to feel the stress of needing an extra 12 hours in each day. Finally, the feeling of overwhelm begins to set in. No matter what you do you’re not seeing all the progress you’re making. Additionally, you might have family and friends that need your attention too. You might go along with their needs, but are you present? If you’re anything like me you’re there but your mind isn’t. The only thing you can think about is what you should be doing and what you aren’t getting accomplished. There are other activities that would be a more productive use of your time. Now your kid’s school play, baseball game or wife’s office party is just a chore. You might even feel resentful that you have to be there.
What should you do when you’re feeling that sense of overwhelm?
This is my proposal. Identify those things on the list that if you don’t do them now the world is going to end. Suddenly there aren’t quite so many items on my list. I’m sure your list is significantly smaller too. Next let’s look at the items that directly effect your livelihood. How many items have an immediate deadline? Place those as a top priority. Let’s make a new list and write those items in red. And what items are important to your loved ones. If you miss your wife’s office party what consequence will that have on your marriage? Maybe her office party should be high on the list too.
Once those are accomplished I am going to ask you to do something radical. Give yourself permission to have some you time. Identify something you will enjoy and go do it. It doesn’t have to be a full day but take a few hours and enjoy that time away from the responsibilities. When I was feeling overwhelmed, I elected to go to the local zoo. I walked around, enjoyed looking at the animals and fed them popcorn. The one thing I didn’t do was look at my watch. It was a time that I could enjoy being in the moment. When I was done at the zoo, I drove home and looked at my list again. Now the list didn’t feel so burdensome. I even became more productive when approaching my list and had a better attitude around what I was doing.
So, what are some ways you enjoy taking a break from your responsibilities? Maybe your child’s game is a great outlet for you, and you feel recharged after being there. Maybe you’re an introvert like me and feel better after going for a walk or run. Regardless of what that outlet is make time to do some selfcare and you’ll reap the rewards.
Shoot me an email if you want to explore the ideas of selfcare and prioritizing. Remember that you are a priority and I challenge you to Live Bold.