Sweetie Says:When avoidance, overworking and other bears come into your life they seem to creep in like the quiet of a wave taking more and more of the land of your life. It is so easy to miss the clues that an item you are avoiding has taken far more power and time to avoid than it would be to accomplish or dimish its task. Personally, I am very aware that overworking comes from a lack of perspective. Maybe the perspective is the requirements of the tasks at hand, maybe the perspective is that someone else’s time or effort is more important than you own, perhaps perfectionism has reared its ugly head, sometimes its even poor self image that we get into the habit of doing too much for others or enabling overworking. How do you measure success for your day? One of my markers is my peace level. When I am over working or avoiding laughter seems to take a side road exit out of my life. My breath is held often throughout the day as I work to focus long past when a break was needed. My personal self care begins to fall off the calendar as I seek to find more hours to accomplish what I don’t have time to do in reasonable hours. There are weeks I can look up and it’s been all week since I’ve done an activity outside of work or met with others socially. This is a bear in my life and I am aware that this bear doesn’t belong in my home or office. My solves for how to combat the on-going battle?
- Calendar how long you are to work and remove myself from the area when that time slot is done. I use alarms on my phone, timers on my desk, and messages on my computer screen to remind me.
- Stop carrying the phone or computer outside the designated work place for work things. I now have a separate laptop for pleasure reading and art that doesn’t carry all my work files at all.
- Reward myself with colored areas on the planner and on the monthly check in I do with my daily, weekly, and monthly goals. I use my birthday to be the check in day so we eat cake to reward ourselves that day or plan a fun menu as we celebrate the changes as they happen as well as celebrate the new patterns of living and the successes we’ve had as a family.
The biggest bear of avoidance and overworking? The way everything else I enjoy gets pushed away and life opportunities to be with those I love are lost. This is a serious awareness for our family and we’re taking it to a new level of fight. More from Sweetie
Martina says: We sometimes confuse, being burned out and procrastination. Often, there is just too much work to do, and we feel overwhelmed. Other times, there is too little work to do, or it is boring, or it seems insurmountable, so we drag our feet, procrastinate, in the hopes that the whole issue will go away. For myself, I find that the first step is to dice out what I want to do and what I don’t want to be bothered with. Either way, the work needs to get done, but these two ways of looking and the problem require different mindsets. They both require that I slow down, get organized, and make a plan of attack. The things I love, I can dive into easily. I could work at these things day and night, and possible even for free.
Those other issues, require that I make plan with doable, actionable steps to make consistent progress toward the final goal. Consistent progress is the key for all that stuff we do not want to deal with. It holds true whether we are talking about setting up a cleaning schedule (I abhor housekeeping), getting our required reading or writing done for work or certification (or finishing up those last few credits for your degree), or taking on your first great American novel and fulfilling your dream of becoming a published author. For the tasks that we often procrastinate about, slow and steady will win the battle every time. More from Martina…
Gail says: Oh, how Sweetie and Martina hit the nail on the head! We move through life passages where we are (temporarily) stuck in the bears called, “I simply don’t want to do that. It’s boring.” Maybe we feel that task has been abdicated upon us by other’s neglect. Other life passages are filled with the bears of too many tasks and services for any one person to accommodate. That is the world of time and effort many women live out daily.
When there are too many tasks for too many weeks or months, when I’m overwhelmed with this bear, my body shuts down. Perhaps, over the years I’ve trained my body to do this, to be my guide and enforcer. I’m frightened when I feel shut down commence, or when I feel I’m on the cusp of shut down. (I usually receive an early warning; quiet, subtle at first.) I’m frightened, because when my body shuts down there’s no alternative but rest. At that juncture, there’s no pushing through. It will not reset without rest, it will get worse. I’ve learned that I cannot afford to neglect self care. I’m in a rhythm of it now. It took years to move into that rhythm. I do move through stages where the self care is not quite enough. But my body is forgiving. Conscious, consistent effort at self care works amazingly well on those bears. More from Gail…
Edith says: Our time, energy, and relations are valued resources. We can get in our own way with avoiding areas that are challenging or uncomfortable. We can work and work and work – as a duty to support ourselves and family or as a way to avoid. We can keep our talents to ourselves to fit in. We can be set in our ways and not change – even when we have decided the change is what we want. We can look at what is getting in our way, ask ourselves what is important to us, and allocate time for those things/people that are important, and gain confidence is saying no to other ‘demands’ on our time, energy, and relationships. Not easy, does take an effort, does take practice, can be very energizing and joyful. Read more from Edith…