**I wrote this a month ago and am posting now. I almost didn’t post because it sounds like I’m whining. I recognize how lucky I am that this is my life – and say that I’m incredibly grateful for every opportunity and person that is part of this journey. Please take this post with a grain of salt. Stay tuned for pt 2 on stress reduction**
Life lately… What can I say? I’ve been so busy in the last month that I didn’t have time for a personal progress update... Which means I haven’t been able to process either. I was hit with a giant shit storm a few weeks ago after my trip to Vegas. If the shock and sadness from the death of a friend wasn’t enough, I joined a new team at work and grappled with how current events affect my loved ones. I thought I was okay, until I wasn’t. I was excited to go to work one morning to write the month-end close note and hopefully take my mind away from thoughts my friend to realize that I couldn’t see numbers clearly, and I didn’t even know it.
Each time over the last few weeks that I thought I was okay, I quickly learned that I wasn’t.
Meanwhile, I dove head first into content creation on social media. I love it, but it’s more time consuming than I thought. From the time I get home from work until I go to sleep, I’m brainstorming, filming and editing content. It takes ~1.5 hours to come up with a post draft, 1-2 hours to film it and about another hour- to edit it. This excludes Instagram stories and personal blog posts such as this one. I’ll get faster as I go, but content creation makes me feel on edge. I’m never ahead for more than a day, so naturally, I always feel stressed that I’m behind. I plan out posts, but then I have spontaneous ideas and get sidetracked. This excludes the time spent responding to comments and DMs – which I enjoy doing because it allows me to learn about people in my community. I find myself checking Instagram on reflex to see if I’m missing something or how my posts are doing.
I’ve managed to this keep up so far, in addition to work, friends and the gym, but I’m in a constant state of disorganization. (My apartment is a complete mess.) Disorganization makes me stressed, which further contributes to my state of constant disarray. I feel like there’s a thin, tangled string stuck in my body. Each time I try to pull it out, I find that there’s a knot anchoring it somewhere inside of me.
I tried a few times to get organized, but something unexpected comes up at work, I get invited out, or I become passionate about a new content idea and get off track with prioritization. It doesn’t help that success energizes me and makes me feel like I can take on more. Each time something goes well, I get the urge to do more of what I just did. I have to remind myself that my plate is full. The good news is that I’m so excited about what I’m doing that I find myself shooting educational content after dinner and a few drinks, or right when I wake up at 6am, but this isn’t sustainable. I’m on overdrive.
Coincidentally, I recently read The ONE Thing by Gary Keller and Jay Papasan. (Reading is also new for me… where is this time coming from? I have no clue.) This book taught me 3 very important things:
Focus on the ONE thing that is your end goal. Everything you do should be in pursuit of this, which means prioritization is key.
The 80/20 rule: 80% of success will come from 20% of your time, or some similar proportion.
Don’t multi-task because you end up wasting at least 1/3 of your time and energy. You shouldn’t be tied to a to-do list you’ll feel like you have to get everything done since it’s on your list.
These things are relatively common sense, but it was helpful to see them spelled out. This begs the question, what is my ONE thing? (According to the authors, it’s okay to have one thing in your personal life, work life, spiritual life, etc.) Does my fitness life count as separate from my work life these days? I fear that the lines are becoming too blurred since it uses the same type of intellectual energy I mentioned in a previous post.
I’m sitting here writing this post trying to organize my thoughts. I made it to the moment where I’m supposed to have an epiphany of the solution. I even got up to use the restroom to procrastinate finding a solution—which is part of the issue. I have so much to do so many ideas that I’m not seeing each one through before moving onto the next. I’m pulled in so many different directions that it’s too easy to change directions when I hit a roadblock.
Now that I’ve stalled more, I have a few ideas. When I start something, I have to finish it before I can move on. Similarly, I need to set an intention ahead of time before a work block. (I work best in 2-hour uninterrupted periods of time.) I don’t always need to be working, but I need to be smart about the time when I am. This probably means putting my phone away.
Additionally, I’m going to scale back the amount of time I spend creating content and on Instagram. I feel like I’m doing everything on an ad-hoc basis right now and it’s creating chaos. I’ll have a set number of posts divided into categories each week and force myself to stick to the plan. I love writing the content, but I hate filming it, which should be the easy part. There are no excuses for getting it done, even if it’s not perfect. I also need to spend some time thinking about my purpose and broader goals to this. I threw myself into it to see if I could do it, and I’m (mostly) doing it, but I need to carefully define my purpose and goals.
My mom once told me that there is no saying that you don’t have time for something. You can always make time. This has been a powerful framework for me. There should be no whining or complaining that I don’t have time for something, because if it was important enough then I would make time. I need to make time to get organized and reduce my stress level.