I’m a self proclaimed recovering multitask-aholic. I start on one project and get side tracked into another…then another…and oh yes then another…by the end of the day I wonder where my time was spent because it looks like NOTHING was accomplished. It is common in a day to put many demands on myself. Without filters to say “no” to many of these tasks I would feel guilty or like I was “missing out” on something if I didn’t do it ALL. I felt like my life was being played out for me and I was getting resentful. Most of these tasks (if not all) seemed super important to me… things like, I need to keep up in my business, spend time with the kids, get dinner on the table, clean the house, do the laundry, water the garden (or put one in), mend those shirts that are piled up, get a workout in, meditate, meet with my child’s teacher, grocery shop, date night, network with peers, squeeze in some yoga training, etc. I lost site of important goals because of all the little unimportant “important” tasks.
Reminds me of saying…”The road to hell <or mediocrity> is paved with good intentions.”
I get it.
My dreams and aspirations were getting lost in an ocean of “have tos” and “shoulds”. I found myself swimming in self doubt, overwhelm, and un-constructive inner criticism because I wasn’t able to prioritize.
What to do about it?
For me it’s a daily practice of staying present and determining WHAT is most important. I DECIDE on a goal and then DECIDE what, where, and with whom I spend my time…having the end goal in mind. I get to use my decision making muscles. I create focus and clarity by having an “eye on the prize” so to speak.
The key lies in the word “decide”. To “decide” is to literally “cut” yourself off from any other option. Once you decide to do something there is no turning back.
Once the trapeze artist decides to let go of the swing there is no turning back, he has to catch the next swing mid-air to make it to the other side.
Life is like that.
If we are only dipping our toe half into the water we will falter and when the going gets tough it’s easier to give up and move back into our comfort zone (or safety net) rather than plunge right in and make it to the goal. To DECIDE gives you no other option.
For instance, I decided last year to enter my FIRST ever Triathlon. (It’s been on my bucket list for 20+ years).
So why did I follow through this time?
When the opportunity arose to enter the “Women of Steel” sprint triathlon I decided to put my money where my mouth was. It took me less than five minutes to make that decision. I plunged in…ready, set, and registered. No turning back.
Did I have to get up early to get a run in? Yes. Was it hard? Yes. What got me up was the picture in my mind of me finishing the race with a decent time and plenty of energy. I had my “eye on the prize”. I did NOT want to “half-ass” it and come in middle of the pack, out of breath, injured, or worse…not finish.
Why did I stick with it? Because I made a conscious, internal decision I was going to do it. There was NO TURNING BACK or giving up. Making the decision gave me unwavering focus to stay with my training and NOT get sidetracked into other “important” tasks.