HOW CAN I GET EVERYTHING DONE?

DEAR DALI MAMA:

I can’t seem to manage the logistics of everyday life. Between the pressures of work, finances, establishing a social life, dealing with maintaining relationships, and running a household, I can’t seem to get everything done. Other people seem to manage those things but I feel like I am drowning in a pile of things I have to take care of. Please help.

John (from the United States)

DEAR JOHN:

You are not alone in feeling overwhelmed by the stress of managing your life and time. It’s called being human! That’s why there’s such a plethora of great resources out there—because so many are in the exact same boat. One great resource to begin with includes  the book 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen R. Covey (www.franklincovey).

In getting yourself organized, start with five basic steps:

1) Ground yourself .  To ground, imagine a grounding cord going from the base of your spine, going deep into the center of the earth, allowing that grounding cord to help you release any energies you no longer need (stress, tension, chaos, etc.) deep into the center of the earth, where that energy will be neutralized. After you ground, fill up with energies that you would like (ease, amusement, your wholeness, your connection to the divine, etc.)  (For a free recording of a grounding meditation, email holdinglightproductions@yahoo.com with FREE GROUNDING EXERCISE in the subject line.)

2) Get enough rest. Getting enough sleep is key to feeling like you can cope. When you don’t rest, you’ll feel exhausted and then it’s even more difficult to get anything accomplished. When you take care of your body, giving it enough rest and anything else it needs (exercise, healthy food, etc.), it can support more effectively so you can get things done.

3) Set your intention and visualize what you’d like your life to look like. If you want calm mornings instead of running around to get everything done before you leave for work, set that intention and visualize (and FEEL) yourself getting up, calmly getting a simple breakfast ready, leisurely enjoying your breakfast, then walking out the door with plenty of time to spare in case of traffic.

4) Log how you are spending your time on a weekday. You might be surprised at where chunks of your time are going. Many people watch a few hours of TV per day as a way to try to recharge their batteries, but that time (or at least part of it ) might be better spent sleeping or taking care of things that don’t require a lot of focus. You can enjoy your favorite show while folding laundry or preparing the next day’s lunch or cleaning out your inbox, for example.  Once you know how you spend your time, you can change that according to your priorities. If there are things you are doing that you no longer enjoy, it’s time to reevaluate old habits or obligations, and to perhaps let some of them go.

5) Simplify. What is one easy way you can simply your life? Choose one small adjustment per week and incorporate it into your routine. For example, when you invite friends over, do you stress about having to prepare a whole meal for them? If so, have a potluck or just order pizza and serve it with ice tea or beer. True friends are really there for the company, right? And you just might set an example for everyone how to do it simply and allow everyone, including the hosts, to have fun. Or maybe instead of cooking a whole big breakfast, you could throw some fruit and veggies and flaxseeds into the blender and drink it on the way to work.

Many people get stressed trying to manage the logistics of being human. Sometimes perfectionism can be a part of that stress. Break things into small, manageable chunks and validate yourself for accomplishing each small task rather than looking at everything you have to do as one enormous unmanageable blob and punishing yourself for not tackling the huge blob that is everything you can’t deal with.

Also, inject each task with the energy of fun. While you’re doing the dishes, play your favorite songs and do a little victory “I finished the dishes” dance. Or whatever fun means to you.

Enjoy! And congratulations on looking at different ways to manage your life. It’s the first step towards change.

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