Right now, in this moment, my mind is racing, every which way. I juSt want to put on Harry Potters invisible cloak, take an Uber to the airport, play spin the destination on the flight board and hopefully wake up 10 hours later in Tahiti (and not Bloemfontein – forgive me my Bloem friends but I’m sure you would concur with the sentiment).
Darn it though, the reasons why I can’t are exactly the reasons why I should.
If only I could wave Harry’s wand and magically clear my 7 page to-do list plus meet all the expectations I’ve created then I wouldn’t feel this way. Completely overwhelmed!!! Please just stop the world, I really want to get off.
So as any truly logical person (with a limited credit card funds) would do, I did what I do best – panic and keep going whilst praying for a lotto win with a complimentary ticket to Tahiti thrown in. Achieving half of that, which I had wished to accomplish and just hoping for the best.
As the hours pass, my Duracell battery drops in exorbitant proportions, my sense of humour officially leaves the building and the overwhelmed feelings mushroom till…… even the smallest request to return a voice message seems like an epic challenge.
Now I don’t know if this ever happens to you? Is it just me who sometimes feels this way?
Recently, after having a few of these ‘Stop the World’ days back to back, I made a decision. If I don’t love the feeling, I should just drop the feeling or change it. (At least I had some common sense to re-evaluate the whole thing). This is what I did:
- Stop – If I want the world to stop, the best place to start would be with me. Back away from the terror Tanya. Press the Emergency Button now!!
- Calm the heck down – Take 10 deep breathes, count backwards from 20, make a coffee, ask a friend to give you a face slap and get back into the NOW. Get oneself back into the present.
- Acknowledge how you’re feeling right here right now and think about how you would rather feel
- For example : I feel overwhelmed/frustrated/panicked and I want to move to feeling in control/calm.. etc
- By when? The next 5 minutes??? Is that possible? Or if being realistic, in the next 2 hours.
- What do I need to do to be that? (and calling an Uber is not an option)
- Write down all the things that are making you feel this way (A note of caution that whilst going through this in your head is an option, just know that it is not as effective as putting pen to paper – hand/brain co-ordination is powerful)
- Sit back and evaluate the list
- Scratch off all the things you don’t have control over
- Prioritise your list by using The Eisenhower Principle – into :
- Urgent Important – Those things that if you don’t do in the next day they will surely cause your world to crumble. Be realistic – ask yourself What can I do today? What can wait for tomorrow?
- Important – Those things that if you don’t do soonest, they will cause a major fallout or ripple along the line. They do have an outcome which will allow us to achieve something. They put you in a good spot down the line.
- Urgent – those things that often demand attention but to usually achieve someone else’s goals. See if you can delegate these as they don’t always add value i.e. emails/phone calls. Otherwise consider that sometimes if you say No to these, the other person will get to it or solve it for themselves.
- Not Urgent Not important – these are a distraction. Avoid if possible. They are just time wasters that keep you busy
- Add one last thing to your list (no I’m not toying with your mental stability here) – Under the Important list, add this ‘One thing that I will do for myself today to show myself kindness and reward myself for making headway is….’
- Lastly , be in creation – take the first step. Now that you have your list, start from the top and do one thing at a time. Keeping your focus on just that 1 thing. Completing it and crossing it off once complete to give you a sense of achievement. Then keep going….
And this my friends is how I do it now. It’s how I’ve managed to rob Uber of an extra ride on a ‘Stop the World’ day. Now I’m working towards using the Uber in the future to take me for my flight to Tahiti, but rather than for hiding it will be for celebrating my persistence and achieving my objectives…
Note: The Eisenhower Principle is used widely across the world today. It was developed by Former U.S. President Dwight Eisenhower.
“What is important is seldom urgent and what is urgent is seldom important.”
Tanya Long 2016/12/08