But, as it often does, life taught me a lesson – one that I feel compelled to share with you, especially on the busiest of days, Monday.
Up until 20 minutes ago, I had 6 tabs running on Internet Explorer, 3 e-mails waiting for responses and a quickly overloading brain.
It all started with a WordPress tab. Ah, yes, I shall be productive and write! Mmm…Nope, didn’t really feel like writing.
So I nixed that and skipped over to another blog. I started reading, and about 3 paragraphs in, I remembered the forum I was on.
Forum tab clicked. There were more blogs I needed to comment on, so I opened those too.
Okay, back to the first blog. Reading, reading…
Maybe I really should write that post.
Cue WordPress tab.
Can you feel the frenzy?!
I was doing everything and nothing, all at the same time.
My eyes were grazing the screen, but my mind was reeling on about the rest of my to-do list. I was doing just to DO, to comfort my ego, to be productive.
But how productive is it, really, to scan content that won’t soak in and leave comments that aren’t heartfelt?
It isn’t. That’s just action for action’s sake, a.k.a the fastest path I know to stressing yourself out and not accomplishing anything.
So I stopped.
I grabbed a pen and a scratch piece of paper, and started to scribble, hoping that my hand could keep up with my brain.
I wrote down anything and everything that was in my head. The never-ending to-do list poured out: the e-mail that needs to be checked, the car dealership that needs to be called, the comments that need to be made. There they were, all of them, on that piece of paper.
Of those, I picked 3. 3 little tasks of who-knows-how-many to accomplish today. Then I numbered them, 1,2,3, in order of priority.
How efficient of me!
With my neat, numbered list, I got back to work.
Much to my dismay, I still felt frantic. Unfocused. Disengaged.
What the hell? I closed the tabs, I made a list…What was the deal?!
You know what the deal was?
I needed to stop. Just STOP, completely, and simply BE.
So I did. I closed every tab, hid the piece of paper, and sat there.
That’s all I did. I didn’t click, read or talk. I just sat there in silence: breathing, noticing, being.
I heard the tick-tock of the timekeeper; the light grey sky outside; my short, shallow breaths.
I made them deeper. I breathed in focus and serenity, and sent all sense of urgency with the out breath.
20 minutes later, I’m filled with peace. My frazzled brain has had time to process.
I’ll be honest, I still don’t feel super motivated. (Blame it on the crappy weather, yeah?) I’d definitely rather be napping.
But I’m here. I’m peaceful. And I only have one tab open.
I’m telling this story as a nudge to be mindful.
Watch what you’re doing.
Are you moving through your day with ease and focus? Or are you frazzled, overloaded?
If you’re feeling overwhelmed, give this a whirl: stop everything.
I know it seems counterintuitive – you have a lot to do, so stop doing?
Exactly. Sometimes, that’s what you need. It’s like when your computer is running slow, so you start clicking like crazy to make it go faster, and it rebels and goes slower. (One of the most annoying things EVER!)
That’s your brain on frantic to-do-listing.
You can try to keep going, but you’re just compounding the problem. Your brain is gonna freeze up. It needs you to just leave it alone for a minute.
Be gentle with yourself. Give your mind a rest. Stop and be for a while – the to-do list isn’t going anywhere.
I hope you’re having a beautiful, peaceful day, my friends.
Tune in next time to find your balance (promise!)
Peace, love and a steaming cup of Zen,