Last week, particularly toward the tail-end of last week, I suffered an Eating the Elephant moment. I had so much to do, with varying deadlines and I wasn’t getting any of it done. It wasn’t that I didn’t want to do it – in fact, I did want to do it – I just couldn’t start because my head was insisting that I tackle it all at once. In one bite, so to speak.
Yeah. My focus was on the forest (to mix metaphors in a single blog post – huge surprise, right?) to the point where I couldn’t see individual trees. And you know what eventually happens when you walk through a forest without seeing the trees…
Something had to give. Part of that something was the Sunday blog post (more on that later) but a big part of it was my disorganized mindset. Heh. Just now reading that last line, I sound like it’s gone. It’s not. Currently it’s in a little box in my head and it keeps trying to somehow slip free. This may come as a surprise to some of you. I’m a pretty organized person. I even make lists. I love me a good list. I make them every day. The problem was that, this week, unexpected stuff got added to the list and there are only so many hours in the day, and I found myself writing the same list over and over, not really getting anywhere.
So last Saturday, I sat down to make my list and I looked at the previous day, completely prepared to rewrite that list, and I said, “Stop.” This time, I took what I had on the list and I organized it by the date it needed to be done. Some of those were deadlines imposed on me, some of them were things I’d committed to. Both are important, but I tend to give more weight to the latter.
Once I had them in order, I looked at what I had to do for each, took note of the time left, and broke them down into how much I needed to get done per day to make the deadline. Once I had it broken down into smaller bits, I was able to start chipping away at those tasks.
But, again, there are only so many hours in a single day and something had to give. Typically, that something is sleep – which is utterly ridiculous, and dangerously easy to do when you consider how important it is. Same thing with Down Time – that time when you actually stop working and try to relax and refill the well. That’s important too, though we’re pretty much conditioned to treat that like laziness, or that we’re somehow slacking.
As contradictory as it sounds, it’s hard work to rest and recover – and that may be a topic for another post. But what I’m getting at is something I mentioned in the May 11th Five-Thing Thursday post. Sometimes you’re going to have to let something fall off the plate, but you get to choose what that is.
Last Sunday it was the blog post – which was pretty disappointing, as evidenced by me talking about it still. That’s the way these things go sometimes. It’s getting better, though I know that even when I get as close to 100% as I’m capable of, that’ll be a peak, not a plateau. There’ll be ups and downs. That’s the way life works.
In the meantime, I’m going to keep on breaking tasks down into manageable bits and do the best I can with them.
Thanks for reading. Be safe out there. Be Excellent to Each other – and yourself.
I’ll see you on Thursday.
If you’ve read, and enjoyed any of my books, please consider leaving a review: