This morning I opened my eyes, looked at the clock, and sighed. 5 AM. My alarm was still almost two hours away. My head hit the pillow again, but I didn’t go back to sleep. All the things I’m doing, all the things I have yet to do this week, were bouncing around in my head, keeping me awake.
There is nothing more frustrating than a brain that won’t shut up.
Lately, I’ve found myself trying to balance work, personal life, recreational needs, and personal development all at once. So far, I’ve made it work somehow. I suppose I should give myself a pat on the back for that. But the list seems to keep on growing, and I must admit, there are times where I feel stretched a bit thin. Going into the start of this week, I’m already behind schedule. For example, I usually post on Sundays and Mondays. We’re now going on Tuesday. Missing a deadline, even one set by myself, is unnerving. I should be better than that. I should want to do better, but other things took priority. It doesn’t end there either. I won’t go into specifics on the other stuff, but I’m sure you get the basic idea.
My laundry list is growing.
The truth is, I may have too much on my plate. Everybody has at some point. But these are all things that need to get done. I can’t delegate these tasks. I can’t just let them go, either. I’m stuck with them. They’re my burden to bear. Nor do I want to drop them. They’re all important to me. But for whatever reason, they’ve all just decided to hit me at the same time.
I have nobody to blame but myself.
And the worst part of the whole thing is staring at the pile in front of you. It’s easy to become overwhelmed. It’s disheartening, frightening, and paralyzing. The more I stare at it, the more I just want to sit in a corner and hide. But…
Hiding won’t make it go away.
I hate folding laundry. It’s one of my least favourite chores by far. The whole process is tedious, boring, and time-consuming. When you dump your laundry out in front of you, it can seem like an endless task. But take a good look at that pile. There are shirts, pants, socks, and underwear. There are large items, and there are small items. They all need to get put away, and they aren’t going to take care of themselves. The first few items you grab may not make the pile shrink that much at all. In fact, there may be no visible difference in the size of the heap still sitting in front of you. And leaving the big things for the end can be just as frustrating. On the other hand, you may be tempted to grab the larger items from the start, thinking that this will make the pile appear smaller. Of course, you’ll get the desired effect, but it will also become apparent how many small things you have left to take care of. Whichever way you go about it, you’re simply fooling yourself into believing there is a quick way to deal with the pile.
There is no easy fix.
You need to tackle the pile head-on. Scan through the pile and look for easy targets. Can you see pairs of socks that match right off the bat? Take care of them. A few pairs of pants? Fold them and set them aside for later; you can put them away together. Do you desperately need underwear today? Grab a pair and put those bad boys on! Everybody will have a different approach. But the fact is that there are a specific number of things in that pile that need to be taken care of, and that number isn’t going to go faster or slower based on what you choose to fold. The other items, big or small, will still be ahead of you. Waiting.
So prioritize. Plan. Take care of one thing at a time. Look for some easy wins. I guarantee the list of tasks will shrink. But if you’re looking for shortcuts, you’ll only succeed in deceiving yourself.
My week had started out looking hopeless. But I’m slowly chipping away at the pile, and I’m making progress.
It’s time to get back on track.
Image Credit: alltelleringet