Zestful Blog Post #166
This I know: Your life is a lot like mine. You have too much stuff to do, too many projects on deck—work and personal—and half the time you feel behind. I hate feeling behind, hate that mental fragmentation that happens when I try to do or think about multiple things at once. Probably like yours, lots of my projects overlap, and I have to do parts of them, then wait to do other parts until something else happens, or I have to set them aside because some other thing has risen in priority. It’s easy for me to overcommit. I like to say yes to people and projects.
But as I’ve written before, time is a zero-sum game. Eternity is eternal, but we all have a lifespan. I’ve been doing two things to save my sanity.
The first is cutting back on my editing/consulting work. I’m looking into other ways to help aspiring authors; stay tuned for more on that.
Second, I’ve been doing a simple, but conscious, technique to help myself not feel mentally fragmented. When I’m not actively doing a task, or am switching between tasks, I try to blank out my brain. Which makes me aware of all the mental clutter that’s there! Then, with awareness, the clutter more or less disappears by itself. Like, when I’m opening my computer and turning it on, I don’t have to be thinking about five things I haven’t gotten done yet this morning. Blank it out. The crap goes away. Powerful. Then I find my attention better focused on the here and now. Oh yeah, I'm breathing! Right! My inner self is more calm. I’m able to switch gears more cleanly, without extraneous thoughts dribbling around. I guess it’s like meditation. Only without the label meditation, which always sounds like work to me.
So my advice to us today is: Don’t feel overwhelmed. Just choose not to feel that way. Just do stuff, one task at a time. Blank it out now and then, and see how you feel.
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