How to clear some mental space in your life.
School and the working year of 2022 have started here in the southern hemisphere and already I can see and feel the growing sense of overwhelm in people.
Some schools are being closed down due to COVID outbreaks adding complexity to the work / kids juggling act. It’s not easy having split loyalties.
If you haven’t done it before, working from home can be challenging. There’s an art to building a structure that works when working from home.
Homeschooling is not easy at the best of times and requires a good amount of structure and time management. Two things that aren’t usual strong suits for quirky brain wirings like ADHD!
Consistently identifying what needs to be focused on, taking in new information, managing relationships and beating back procrastination only add to the sense of overwhelm.
Feeling that you are failing and falling behind just amplifies things and further ratchets up stress.
The more stress we experience, the more we are robbed of the very resources to help us address what’s causing the overwhelm in the first place. Seeing the cycle here?
If you think that you can get up earlier to “fit it all in” or that you can “squeeze” in more between other tasks, then let me tell you a little secret about that. Well, it’s not really a secret as you’ve likely tried this…. It doesn’t work.
You’re already working at capacity and trying to take on more is simply trying to shove more stuff through the same pipeline. See the term “bandwidth” that’s often used by tech folks.
We could fill a library with different approaches to productivity – for both the neurotypical and “quirky thinker” types alike.
What I’m hoping to achieve here is to introduce you to the concept (and value) of SPACE as an antidote for the poison of overwhelm.
Here’s some precepts and strategies to to help interrupt the cycle:
SLOW DOWN… and SIMPLIFY.
Yes. It’s a bit ironic I’m suggesting you add MORE THINGS for you to do in your already busy life… But here’s the beauty of this – instead of taking a moment to clear your head and figure out how to do MORE – I’m asking you to take that time and consider how to do LESS.
You’ll find it’s time well spent and eventually you’ll find you load lightening. This is all about valuing your time.
So! Step one… Slow the ^@#%@$# down. Breathe.
Consider the tasks that are heaped on your plate. Don’t try and tackle them all. Just a few – maybe just one for today.
What’s important to me here? Assign a priority to it. High or Low. If LOW – return it to the stack for later consideration. If HIGH… continue the questioning:
Is there anyone can do this better than me?
Is there anyone or anything (like an app) than can help?
What happens if it just doesn’t get done?
Can “done” be less than perfect?
BE A GATEKEEPER
Learn to say NO….
Before agreeing to any more obligations, make NO your default answer.
You don’t have to be a jerk about it. Soften it to: “Not at the moment. Let me consider it and get back with you.”
This will give you a chance to run that request though the questions above and decide whether or not you want to obligate yourself to another THING.
Creating boundaries helps you honor yourself and your time. The more you value your bandwidth – the more parsimonious you will become with your time and attention!
I hope this helps you make some space in your life!
If you need more help (because often we can’t see the mistakes that we are making or don’t understand what is triggering us), please reach out for help. We can’t know what we don’t know about ourselves.