Perfectionism is my venom that often stings me and results with inaction.
I find myself either caught up in making my calendar look so beautiful with its color-coded entries or fighting for breath as I am sinking deeper into the quicksand of tasks. Either way, I am stuck with no viable solution to finish the list. It doesn’t help that part of my paralysis is overthinking it.
I may also be an extreme optimist who believes I can get everything done in half the time. When entering an address into my GPS, it says 27 min… I’m like no way… I can get there in 20 maybe even 15 minutes, if I catch all the lights. So, when I show up 30 minutes later, I am truly mad that I didn’t get there on time…Start soundtrack of profanity, general negativity and an edge of disappointment in oneself. The stress that begins to build up, as I get further and further behind on my day allows that soundtrack’s volume to ever so gradually increase. All other voices are drowned out by my truths regarding my professionalism, dedication and self worth in general. If this soundtrack ever found its way to the actual airwaves, I would not only blush but would be awkwardly ashamed people knew the cruelness I sabotage myself with, daily.
How do I manage all the things that are scheduled in my day? Cause let’s be honest, I don’t see anyone else jumping up and volunteering to take on my left-over tasks? So, like all good martyrs, I will work myself to sickness, depleting all my joy, energy and good will. Because when I checked off 1 item on my checklist 2 more appeared. My optics will be stellar, no one will see anything out of place, I will smile on cue, listen to your stories, empathize with your cause and join you on that adventure. All of this while cursing more, thrusting more hostility towards those I love and end off crying in the shower praying no one opens the curtain.
Wait, What? I’m not a superhero, nor was I made to wield superpowers? And that false expectation is self enforced? And so how do I counteract this natural tendency? How do I manage everything? How do I find the end of this list? Will I ever have the chance to be done? You mean my never-ending list is the root cause of my exhaustion? The light at the end of the tunnel, is a phantom of my imagination?
What now? Let’s ask ourselves some MORE questions.
How much of my list truly needs to be completed by me personally, and if I let ego take a vacation, what person, system or tool could finish that task for me?
Then ask yourself these questions:
-Is it urgent?
-Is it important?
-Do I have the skills or knowledge to complete it?
-Do I enjoy it?
-Does it serve me, heal me or make me a better person?
-Do I even want to do it?
Here is how I construct my schedule.
-What do I want to do?
-What do I have to do?
-What will I choose to do?
Using these questions as a filter, I time block each week to consciously and intentionally add things to my calendar that makes me feel accomplished, productive and lets me smile.
I am no longer a victim of tasks. I am an air traffic controller of my personal air space directing each task to my list. I refuse to be afraid of optics that would say I am lazy or no longer dedicated. I refuse to be bullied by causes, events or good doers that trespass on my boundaries. I believe my biggest lesson has been listening and respecting ME with dignity and grace. And most especially having kind, talented souls in my network. This allows me to use leverage and stay true to my boundaries.