. Catching Up
I got behind this last weekend. I won’t go into the details but I awoke on Monday morning with undone wash to fold and put away, letters to write and send off, and a house which was disheveled from lack of attention for three days plus a dozen other items that needed me. It was so disheartening!
I know many of you face “being behind” once in a while and a few of you just live with it all the time. It is so hard. We work so diligently, we push ourselves past weariness, and still we seem to be in “catch-up” mode.
I am not sure I have all the answers, but I have learned a little bit that I would like to pass along.
1) It is important, as soon as it is practical, to get in control again. This meant, especially for me, getting my visual world in control again: putting the wash away, getting a load of dishes going, sweeping the kitchen floor, and straightening the pile of paperwork that needed attention.
2) During this focus period, I chose not to answer the phone, look at my emails, have on the TV, or answer my front door. I decided that if it was life threatening, they would go somewhere else to ask for help or would come in my direction again with a heavier knock. Surprisingly, the messages which were left were more easily handled as callbacks and the world survived quite nicely without my “immediate” attention. In the meantime, I gained a semblance of order.
3) After getting my visual surroundings “neated”, I sat down with my planner and worked through how I was going to get caught up and still maintain a reasonable schedule with the week’s demands. In other words, I listed one by one the items on my mind, attached “A”, “B”, or “C” priority letters to each item, decided what “A” items to do on what days, what “B” items to leave until later, and what “C” pressures would be put aside for some distant “slower” period of my life.
4) From now on, I am going to schedule longer “launch” and “landing” periods to surround big projects, major activities, and other adventures in my life. It is up to me to create a bubble surrounding these periods so I can gear up, come down, get back to my routines, and otherwise “return” with appropriate pacing.
Remember, we are always going to be pushed by others to the very limit of what we will allow. If we allow less, taking more time for 1) “launching” 2) “landing”, and 3) rest, we will still be respected and will truly be able to respond better because we are handling our pressures and responsibilities in an orderly, “I can do this and this and no more, no sooner than this” method. Good luck with catching up and getting ahead!
Find more helpful ideas in my House of Order Handbook.
Photo from sxc.hu. Used with permission.