It’s 8 a.m. and I’m already exhausted. You see, I just looked at my calendar. That may not sound like something that would suck the air out of a person, but my calendar is an energy vampire. It’s a delusional hodge-podge of color-coded wish-list items masked as commitments. I know I won’t do them all. Why, then, have I set myself up for failure yet again? Maybe it’s my tendency to hyper-focus on some things while glossing over others. Maybe it’s my sparkling optimism. Maybe it’s my ADHD tendencies. Either way, something has to change and I’m here to publicly admit that I commit to doing the following: a) Move aside some of the to-do’s so I can breathe, and b) Commit to single-tasking.
I must shuffle or get rid of some of the items on my to-do list. I write this while under a crushing pile of obligations. I write this while feeling victimized. I write this while struggling to breathe as I think of how I am going to stay awake long enough to complete all that I need to do today. And that’s just today – what about tomorrow? Time to reprioritize….
I have repeatedly read and heard that time is not the most manageable thing in the world. As David Allen in his book *Getting Things Done so aptly puts it, “You don’t manage five minutes and wind up with six” (p.20)
Yes, David. Duly noted. What, then, should I do? I will not manage time. I will manage my actions. I have committed to too many actions, so I’ll take my calendar and look at it from the perspective of a person who has taken time to breathe and decipher one specific thing she would like to accomplish for the day. And while the thought of doing only one thing stresses me out a bit because I’m afraid I’ll be arrested for underachievement, I understand that it’s good to start there. It goes like this:
One specific thing. Then another.
And yes, I will SINGLE TASK. As a woman who has always taken pride in being able to do ten things at once, this is a bold statement. ONE THING? THEN ANOTHER? Yes. In this age of distraction, single-tasking can appear to be an act of rebellion. I have found, however, that if I pare down my calendar, figure out what top priorities are for the day, and then single-task my way through, I get a lot more done. I breathe. I smile. I don’t feel exhausted. And I get stuff done!
It’s now 8:30 a.m. Apart from my phone buzzing texts at me, I have not felt distracted. (*Note to self: Shut.That.Phone.Off!) Thanks for listening to me whine while I’ve talked myself off the ledge!
P.S. Any of this resonate with you? Contact me and let’s chat!
*Allen, D. (2015). Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity. New York: Penguin Books