Lately, it feels like more and more things are pulling me in different directions. The To-Do list is lengthy, the workload is mounting, and the phone won’t stop buzzing with tweets, comments, texts, calls, and email notifications. 20 different things are vying for my attention everyday. Can you relate? This is the tug and pull, and this generation in particular is being pulled in more directions than any before. For me, it’s due being overly accessible, thanks to technology, as well as my short attention span. I find myself rarely being able to focus on one main thing for a full day or even for half of the day. Even when I try, no matter what, there is always something else to juggle.
On top of balancing work and home life, you have friends to tend to and a 5k to train for. You have to cook a well-balanced organic meal for your family, you have to stop using Google because they are spying on you, tweet funny things and answer emails promptly but also stay away from your phone because this generation is “too connected”. You have to avoid soda, avoid carbs, eat kale, protest McDonalds, drink red wine for health reasons but not too much wine for other health reasons. You have to use a standing desk instead of a regular desk for fear of being labeled a slob at work, stay happy and positive, figure out if having children fits in your life plan, and make sure you shop local because the community must be saved from corporate greed *phew* There are so many things that you HAVE to do, all while you are trying to amass a fortune that rivals those flashy Instagram celebs.
So where is the light at the end of the tunnel?
I recently found myself on a quest to calm my mind, re-center myself, and find wholeness again. While on this journey, I realized that there are no easy answers, however I came across a few tips that helped me reign in the chaos that may be able to help you too.
Seriously. Be realistic with yourself about the number of obligations you can commit to. We often try to avoid hurting the feelings of our loved ones so we overextend ourselves. We commit to work events, social events, children’s events, birthday parties, bachelorette parties, engagement parties, travel to destination weddings, and use up all of our vacation time attending things for other people. Stop. Say no. Reclaim your free time.
Clean Up Your To-Do List
First, make one if you don’t have one. I personally keep mine in the Notes section on my phone, but if you feel more comfortable writing things down or downloading an app, you can do that as well. The medium doesn’t matter, it’s just important that you can visually see and sort through the commotion inside of your head.
Second, go through the list and prioritize what is critical and what isn’t. Calling a plumber for your broken pipe = critical, tracking down the dress you saw on Mila Kunis = Not critical. Stop wasting valuable time on things that don’t matter. Prioritization is key to quieting the crazy. Get focused.
This is two-fold. Refrain from trying to tackle everything on your own and over-complicating things. Pick items from the To-Do list that you can delegate and then…delegate! Instead of feeling like the world is on your shoulders, start allowing those who love you to help you.
Additionally, let go of people who are over-complicating your life. You’re incredible and that will be appreciated by your lovers, attacked by your haters, and fed on by your leeches. Notice who is never happy for you when you have moments of triumph and take note of those who always need something but never provide anything in return. After you have identified these culprits, let them go. Free yourself of the negativity and emotional drain that comes with providing sustenance to the leeches and the haters in your life.
Work to take control of your circumstances and restore order to your world. Use these tips to reclaim your peace of mind and cancel out some of the noise of the constant tug and pull.