Tuesday, January 31, 2012

3 Ways to Get Something Done When You Want to Run Away

Do you feel overwhelmed with what's on your plate? Are you depressed when you see things around you piling up?

Here, look at this person's kitchen:


Now...don't you feel better?

LOL

I've been at the place where I want to run away. At times my responsibilities feel so enormous I fantasize about crazy things. Don't worry, I'm not thinking of murder or abandoning my family or stuff like that.  Normally I dream of things like spontaneously taking off for a vacation with no prior planning, or living in a house so far in the woods, no one wants to come there.  Yes my friends, these are my wild fantasies.

When my imagination runs wild, most times it runs to a little cottage in the forest with a pointy roof.  Something like this...


As you can see, fancy is not the goal of this escape.

True story -- my daughter has a friend she goes to school with who lives so far in the woods I can't go there without getting horribly lost every time. I even get lost when the friend is in the car with us, instructing me on where to go! Seriously!  And it's so far back in the boondocks, my GPS loses a signal. It's maddening! So, I just made a rule that Savanna's not allowed to go there anymore. The girl has to come to our house every time if they are going to be friends. I know, that's probably one of the meanest things you've ever heard but honestly I don't have time to be getting lost in the woods all the time. For the sake of time management I just said, "Savanna, she has to come to us if you're going to be friends." (I know, I won't win Mom of the Year for that one.) Back on topic...

I have been so overwhelmed before that I let my mind drift to my little house in the middle of the woods that nobody can get to.  It has no phone access, but it DOES have WIFI.  Ha ha ha!!!

All this to say - I understand those of you who are dealing with a pile of stuff to do and aren't even sure where to start. May I offer these suggestions? Instead of escaping to my little house in the woods, I do this, and it works for me.

1)  Start with something close by, something small that will take you about 15 minutes to do. For me this is sometimes just cleaning off my kitchen counter.  Once you see that finished space, it gives you a sense of accomplishment and a little vim and vigor to do something else. Rarely do I stop with that 15 minute project.  I normally go on to do two or three other things before I call it a night.

2)  Put on some music as a backdrop if you are doing menial things that you don't have to concentrate on. Go to Spotify or Pandora and make a playlist of songs that encourage you. These resources are free, by the way. I use them every day.

3) Make a list of things you need to do.   Break it down into smaller increments - more specific than you thought it originally needed to be. For instance if you have two bathrooms don't just write "clean bathrooms" on the list. Make each bathroom a separate item on the list. If you have sermons to prepare don't just say, "write sermons". List each sermon separately.  Each time I cross something off my list it's an occasion to do a happy dance.

Remember my friends, anything you get done is better than doing nothing. You can't talk a ball over a fence! It's time for action. Take a step. Do one thing and let it lead to another. Then celebrate your accomplishment.

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