Ah the art of balance. Just when you think you have it all figured out the ‘universe’ throws you a new challenge. I’m growing to love these. They’re little reminders to check in with myself and make sure I’m being true to me.
Firstly – there’s no such thing as multitasking. No matter how ‘efficient’ you think you’re being you’re actually going backwards. Like burning a whole lot of fuel while sitting with the ignition turned on in the car but not actually going anywhere.
So easy to recognise it in others, so much more challenging to take the ‘grown-ups’ pill and realise actually it’s YOU that needs the work. The change the upping the ante. If something is tugging at your heart, LISTEN to it.
At least that’s what I’ve been trying to doing. And I’m getting better at it each day. I think (notice that’s a head thing) I’m naturally inclined to go straight into over-thinking (there I go again) mode. Which means I rationalise, weigh up pros and cons, then re rationalise while running around multitasking. When actually what needs to be done is something as simple as stillness. Or LETTING GO of everything flying around in my head and being ok with whatever the present state is. Sometimes that might be embracing the dishes – and not being distracted by the grocery order, the rubbish bins, or sending that text message. Doing it wholly and attentively gets the job DONE and done BETTER. At least that’s what I’ve found.
This has definitely played out for me at work – I’d hazard a guess most of us have nailed the art of procrastination. Particularly when there’s a chunky piece of work we’d rather avoid…. I used to be the queen of things to do lists in the form of pages and pages and pages. Then I’d sift through the list and find the ‘quick wins’. While these have their purpose, there’s a time and place to use them and when I found myself ONLY picking them out I also found myself not really moving forward with any of the ‘real’ work. When I see myself falling back into this habit, I turn to prioritisation in the form of urgent, important (you may have seen Marie Forleo’s video on this, it’s also in heaps of productivity business models and Tim Ferris talks about it) – essentially pick out the big chunky thing you’re avoiding, the thing that’s going to get you furthest ahead and then JUST DO IT. Focus entirely on this without distraction. Make sure there’s a reward at the end, and make sure you have a little mantra or reminder to draw your attention back to the job at hand. Mine can be as simple as once I’ve done this task, I get to delete some emails (hehe, giving away too much now, small wins that make me feel totally on top of things!) or make a cup of tea. I’ve surprised myself how efficient I feel.
(At the time of writing this I had) recently dropped my hours in my day job to focus more on The Daisy Patch – which meant reduced hours and same amount of work load. Many people may have thought ‘how could you possibly fit it all in?’. In fact I’ve found the opposite. I’ve had the most stamina, motivation and productivity in the last 6 months than I have the entire time I’ve work on the project (coming up to 2 years now, shhh don’t tell my boss! :p). Point is, you can kid yourself all you like about multitasking – it’s really procrastination in a mask and procrastination is really just avoidance of FEAR (I’ll get back to fear in another post, one of my favourite subjects).
Where’s this all going? Well I’m back in my home country on a visit and soaking up some well needed family time. It’s given me a chance to slow down and pause a little to really take it all in. I’m the youngest in my immediate family, with three older sisters all with children. I take pride in my aunty hood and have treasured the lessons I have gained through the years and from their bravery in parenting – each in their own unique ways they’ve given me lessons I’ll still be rewarded by in years to come. What I’ve become more consciously aware of over the last few years is the incredible dedication they all give to being parents. The kids come first. Decisions are made with their best interests at heart. Distractions float around now and then, rarely getting their full attention because a big decision was made the day the kids were born (or even earlier) –
When you have such a clear mission in your life …. It becomes so much easier to make those difficult decisions. You ask, does this get me to my mission? If yes, do it. If not, move on and move on quickly, the kids probably already have
Given that my family are spread across Australia (it’s a big place, have you ever noticed that?!) ‘multitasking’ my time with them has been something I thought was achievable for years and years. I’d carefully share out time, or allocate different catch ups, overlap visits etc etc etc (I’m feeling overwhelmed just typing that out). What I’m learning and growing through is that as much as that approach gave me ‘time’ with them, it wasn’t always high quality. It was like moving through my things to do list and ticking things off, then feeling like I had ‘cheated’. I usually walked away feeling incredibly exhausted, a little stressed and not overly topped up with my family love tank. All things I thought my carefully constructed schedule would give me! Slowly but surely I’ve made a shift to quality not quantity. Quality time is my primary ‘love language’ – i.e. when I get it I feel loved, valued, warm, happy. When I don’t, I feel disconnected, down, grumpy and frustrated.
I am living every day doing the best I possibly can do to prioritise quality over quantity – because I know how this fills me up….
Fast-forward to today, 28th February and Interestingly I’ve just discovered this blog post buried in my files. Thoughts, feelings, emotions that were coming up for me while ‘balancing’ a day job and building a business I’m passionate about. I love reflecting on these posts after some time and noticing what was going on for me and what lessons I was taking away from it in the moment. I wonder what experiences you’ve had of feeling overwhelmed, stressed, frustrated, and yet when looking back you saw it in a completely different light. I’d love to hear from you. Send us an email or jump on over to Facebook and share – what’s one lesson, on reflection now, you’ve taken away from a period of particular stress in your life?
Our Creating a Life You Love series is all about giving yourself permission to pause and reconnect with what’s really important to you in life. We find it’s a great way to decompress and walk away with more clarity on how you can live a life you truly love.
Want to give yourself some well needed me time? Our next session is on 9th March to get you back in the driver’s seat of YOUR life and help you prioritise yourself more, book now to save your seat: creatinglifeyoulovebalance.eventbrite.co.uk.
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