WHAT TO DO WHEN YOU CANNOT DO
People often ask me how I manage to fit it all in: working an 8-5, starting a blogging career, being a mother and everything that comes with it, a social life and about a million and one other little things that I do either through FOMO or because I forget that I’m actually human and try and fit as much possible into my diary.
The reality is that when I’m acing one area of my life, it’s likely another is taking the hit. The more events I agree to go to, the more I see my friends, the more my sleep and sense of routine suffers. As my blog progresses and hits the next milestone – something that I’m forever grateful for – the chances are that I’m neglecting family life or the
pile of washing is mounting to give Mount Everest a run for its money.
What’s worse is when the pressures that I’m feeling are the result of my very own doing. I know I’m not alone when I confess that I’m often at times a bit of a perfectionist. Working tirelessly to succeed, to always try my best at whatever it is that I’m doing and to put all my effort into everything – big or small. Still, even a perfectionist knows their limit. I also have a tendency to not say no, which becomes another unfortunate pressure. I know that I am beyond busy, yet I still say yes because I fear letting anyone down. So I’ve come up with 3 ways to avoid unnecessary stress and pressure with just a few simple steps.
1. Plan plan plan plan.
If you start a day without a clear plan about how you’re going to spend your attention, you’ll end up wasting most of it. Your first priority should be to take a little undisturbed time each day to evaluate the various demands on your attention before they show up. Do your prioritizing whenever you typically think most clearly, I like to take 5 minutes in the morning with a cuppa to think about my day and all of the things that need doing, adding a few things that I would like to get done to the list so I always workings on those goals. Rank tasks in order of importance and write them down. That way, when you’re being hounded for attention you’ll have a visual cue to help you focus on the most significant task first.
2. Big picture thinking
Goals can often feel so far away, unachievable and just another thing on the list that we can’t manage but if you break down into chunks – even 30 minutes a week, you will soon find that you’re already working towards it. When you see that task on your to-do list, think about the big picture, the goal, the dream – do not overwhelm yourself but just pause and make sure that the task aligns with the big picture. Your time is the biggest thing that you can invest in yourself and you do not want to spend it on pointless activities that is going to get you no further forwards.
3. Work with mouse vision
Once your big picture plan is in place, it’s time to play mouse. Mouse vision is a metaphor for adopting a mind set focused directly and completely on whatever is in front of you. Choose what is most important, shut out distractions including your phone and give all of your attention to the activity at hand.
To get into the mousy frame of mind, designate a period of time during which you will focus entirely on the given activity. The session doesn’t have to be long – half an hour is a good start. Now, set a timer to go off when your work session is finished. Put the clock/timer where you can’t see it, and then devote all of your attention to the task at hand.
Realistically, think about your surroundings. Are you ever going to get the job done if you’re sitting on the sofa in your comfies, wrapped in a blanket watching your favourite boxset on Netflix? Probably not, you might do a little bit here and there but it would of taken you all day and then you will probably need to do it over anyway as it was half arsed. I’m really strict with myself and I won’t move on or pause until the job is done; a Kinder Bueno is currently staring me in the face while I’m writing this but I’ve made a promise to myself that I can’t have it until this paragraph is finished.
What are your top tips for staying focused when it feels like you have a million things on your plate? Now that is done, I’m going to enjoy that Kinder Bueno.