Sometimes, it can seem as if there is just TOO MUCH to do. That there are simply not enough hours in the day, and that you need to let anything that isnt super urgent and important slide until you have time to do it.
And even though you let those ‘less urgent’ things go, you still seem to have way too much on your plate, and every time you stop to think or to speak with someone else, you remember another thing or three that must be done today and add them to your list.
You feel like a juggler who is juggling way too many balls in the air.
I love this quote about this:
Imagine life as a game in which you are juggling some five balls in the air. You name them work, family, health, friends, and spirit — and you’re keeping all of these in the air. You will soon understand that work is a rubber ball. If you drop it, it will bounce back. But the other four balls — family, health, friends and spirit — are made of glass. If you drop one of these, they will be irrevocably scuffed, marked, nicked, damaged or even shattered. They will never be the same.
– Brian Dyson CEO of Coca Cola Enterprises from 1959 – 1994
These past few weeks, I have been feeling like a very bad juggler in a third-rate circus, hardly managing to keep the balls in the air at all, and lunging after some of them just-in-time to stop them smashing to the ground. Only to turn around and realise another one is just about to hit the floor. Agghh…
My heatlh has suffered. My fitness has suffered even more (actually some of that had to do with the ankle I sprained a few weeks ago, which stopped my gym workouts temporarily while it healed). My business has suffered a little too – Sanctuary will be late for July because I simply had to let that ball bounce for a couple of days.
And you should see the state of my desk!!
It is all a sign of the chaos in my mind. Yes I have been really busy working. Yes, it is school holidays so there are additional demands from the kids (and the usual doctor and dentist type checkups to take them to). Yes, my husband has been working on a major, major project so he has been working ridiculous hours. And yes, in the midst of this we have been considering dog ownership. I must be certifiable.
And to top it all off, the fridge has been emitting some very nasty smells the last two days.
And so my cure for my disorganised mind is quite simple.
It’s Saturday. I attacked my refrigerator this morning. There are clear, clean shelves now. I even dug into the nether regions of my freezer and chucked anything that had been in there since the turn of the century (and stuff that just looked like it had). I have reduced the pile of washing in the laundry to nothing!! I am taking a week off work next week – that ball WILL bounce – and so is hubby, and we are going to spend the week with the kids while they are on holidays. We may get some paving done around our new shed, but if we dont get to it, no-one is going to stress too much.
I am knitting a throw rug, and joined a three-week craft class on Wednesday nights with my mother, and my mother-in-law (cute, huh?).
Now, none of this will get the work done. But what it does is clear my head, clear my to-do list some, and allow me space to breathe. As I wrote about recently here, I have a tendency to over-think things. To analyse them to death. So, the knitting and the crazy patchwork, and the fridge cleaning and the decluttering (that will be a big one this week) and the organising (my study, in particular) will all help to clear the junk out of my head, and create some room for what is truly important and life affirming to me.
David Allen, in his book Getting Things Done, talks about Mind Like Water. I love this concept, even though I have been forgetting about it lately. To quote from Chapter 1:
It’s a condition of working, doing and being in which the mind is clear and constructive things are happening. It’s a state that is accessible by everyone, and one that is increasingly needed to deal effectively with the compexity of life in the twenty-first century. More and more it will be a required condition for high-performance professionals who wish to maintain balance and a consistent positive output in their work.
As I move through my week, spending valuable time with my dear family and clearing out the old to make way for the new, I will have notebook and pencil ready to record all those things that occur to me – to-do’s, shopping lists, ideas amd inspirations (and possible names for dogs;) so that they are out of my head and I dont have to worry about them any more because I know they are safely recorded for when I can get to them.
I am curious – is your mind like water, or are you finding yourself, like me, with such a whirlwind of thoughts in your head that you cannot concentrate on anything?