Have you ever felt like you’re spinning your wheels?
Racing around like a crazy person but getting little done? I have. The real kicker is that it was always during times of overwhelm when I had so flipping much to do!
It seemed the more I tried to get things done, to create that peace of mind from having a few more things off my to-do list, the further behind I got, and the more frustrated I became. Argh!
As a child, I remember doing fire safety drills at school.
They’d talk about running out of the house or school without stopping to collect any objects. Living in the Midwest, I seriously worried about being outside and cold. I sometimes planned out how I’d get dressed outside in the cold if the smoke alarm went off when I was in the shower. I’d sometimes even practice. Ok, I’m seriously weird.
I’d choose only necessary pieces of clothing and practice putting them on as quickly as possible. The weird thing is, if I were to get dressed, like to go somewhere fun, I was actually pretty fast. But as soon as I started racing to get dressed for my “emergency,” all heck broke loose. I’d be standing on one foot trying to pull my pants on, my pant legs would get all tangled, I’d lose my balance, and fall over. Or, I’d be racing to pull my shirt on over my head and get my head stuck in the sleeve. That NEVER happened when I got dressed normally. All told, it took me much longer to get dressed when I was stressed racing the imaginary clock.
I suppose this is why we were also taught to exit the building in an orderly fashion and not push and shove out the door like crazy people.
But how often do we apply this crazed mindset to our non-life-threatening “emergencies.”
We race to get as many things done as possible yet accomplish nothing. This was a common pattern of mine. I’d feel like I couldn’t relax until a certain activity was past or my to-do list was under control.
The trouble was, racing around ineffectively just got me more stressed, more exhausted, more overwhelmed, and often sick. I wondered, what would happen if I just relaxed? Now, I’m not saying to do nothing. I’m talking about mentally and physically relaxing, slowing the frenzied rush.
So, I tried it. And, do you know what happened? I got more done in less time and I wasn’t tired, stressed, or overwhelmed. Wait, what? Could that be true? At first, I’d fall back into my old pattern, sort of like racing to get dressed. It ALWAYS kicked my ass. I was a dreadfully slow learner. But I’ve got it now.
When you’re feeling overwhelmed, SLOW DOWN, put your pants on one leg at a time and watch what happens.
You’re invited to join me in my free class, “Dr. Melissa’s Secret to Eliminate Overwhelm,” where I share the one cause and one solution for chronic overwhelm. Because wouldn’t it be freaking awesome if you create a relaxing, vibrant life today?