Summer can be a busy time with extra activities and vacations added to the mix.
As temperatures rise, so can frustration levels, and you may be wondering, “How can I get it all done?” We all have a multitude of things to do each day, and it is easy to get overwhelmed.
The following are three common obstacles to “getting it all done” and tips to overcome them:
- Not properly defining the “all” in “getting it ‘all’ done.” There are many options of things to do. However, joy and peace of mind don’t come from trying to do everything, they come from doing the right things at the right times. The right thing for your neighbor, or your sister, or your best friend may not be the best thing for YOU right now. No one can do everything. Resist the urge to compare yourself with others, and stop trying to please everyone. Instead, get clear about what YOU truly value. Focus on what is currently most important to you, and look for things you can stop doing to make room for your most important tasks.
- Scattering yourself in too many directions. Let’s say that over the next three months you want to learn French, start a business, finish your basement, train for a marathon and landscape your yard. While these may all be worthy desires, if you scatter yourself in too many directions, nothing gets done well. This also leads to imbalance, and your health and/or relationships will likely take a hit. Instead, focus on only one or two projects at a time. Break them down into smaller tasks that you can easily put into your schedule.
- Giving in to your resistance. Getting it “all” done can boil down to overcoming your resistance to doing what you need to do. While a part of you wants to move forward on a goal or activity, another part of you might be afraid, unsure of what to do next, or just plain lazy. That’s where distractions can come in. Perhaps you start to feel some anxiety about a task, uncertainty over what to do next, or fatigue from overdoing it the day before. The next thing you know, you have blasted through a half dozen TV episodes on Netflix or have gotten distracted with a new “project” like washing all the windows. Pay attention to how you spend your time, and determine what keeps you from getting what you truly want done. Becoming aware of your common distractions can help you avoid them, or get you back on track when you start to slip. When working on a project, you may want to turn off your phone, shut all programs you aren’t currently using for your project, and/or work in a room away from the TV or other distractions. Another great way to overcome your resistance, limit your distractions and stay on track is to start the day with a plan. Summer can feel less structured, and without a plan, you can get tossed to and fro, falling prey to other people’s agendas or getting lost in mindless distractions. Block out time on your calendar for specific tasks. Getting started on a difficult task is the hardest part, so if you schedule it and just start, likely you will keep going.
Despite added summer activities, getting it all done can become a reality when you redefine “all,” focus and overcome your resistance. Getting clear about and focusing your efforts around what you value most creates more peace and joy in your life and gives your distractions less power.
So, say goodbye to frustration and hello to peace of mind!