Archives for June 2011

Recovering from Overwhelm

It’s time to start blogging again. Late last summer, my life went crazy for a while. This past (almost) year has been a blur. My “real job” became off-the-charts busy, then my husband changed companies, then we moved to a new house, then I changed jobs, then I learned what “off-the-charts busy” really meant.

Have you been on auto-pilot and overwhelmed like me?

The thing is, life will never slow down to the point that I feel I have enough time to do everything I want to do. Life continues on, regardless of the part I play in it. I can fill every hour trying to keep up with it, I can get sick for a few days and disconnect from it completely, I can try to grab it by the horns and wrestle it into my idea of what my life should be. None of those actions changes the pace of my life. There are some that do:

Wake up

Are you shoving things that matter to you behind the “someday” wall? Someday I’ll spend more time playing with my children. Someday I’ll write that novel. Someday I’ll start going to the gym. Someday I’ll start eating better. Someday I’ll figure out what kind of career I really want to have.

Identify your big rock

You know the metaphor of the big rocks? The little things that crop up each day are like grains of sand. The medium sized rocks are routine things you do. The big rocks are things that are important to you. If you fill a jar with sand, then pour the medium sized rocks on top, there will not be room for the big rocks. If you reverse it, putting the big rocks in first and then the medium sized rocks, the sand fills in all the gaps between the rocks and you can get it all into the jar. Your day is the jar.

Stop living in reactive mode, answering every little fire that flares up in the day. Choose 3 priorities for today. I’m planning to choose one work thing, one family/household thing, and one thing to nurture myself. Those are the big rocks. If 3 seems huge, pick one. One thing.

But it must be meaningful.

Does your one thing bring joy to your life? Does it make you feel like your life has meaning? Do you feel on-purpose when you do it? If not, choose something else until you can answer “yes” and your rock is meaningful.

The other things on your to-do list are important, too, but if you have to ignore them to get the one thing done, ignore them. If you came down with a 24 hour bug that made you spend the day in bed, the world wouldn’t end. It won’t end if you have to postpone some of the things on your to-do list for one more day.

No matter what happens today, do your one thing. And be proud of it.

I wrote this post this morning, my first one in about 9 months. I didn’t have time to put a picture in it, but that’s a smaller rock I can do later.

What will you do today?

Share it with me in the comments.