I’m just starting to get myself back in the scheme of things. After taking time off to gather myself, to stabilize my life in terms of my health, I’m back.
This week’s lesson came from several false starts of me trying and failing to get this site back up and write a few articles I’ve been commissioned to do. These required research – tons of it – and a solid block of time with which to organize everything. Stoked to be doing it in the first place, I was more than a little disappointed when it all fell apart each day I tried to execute my plan of attack.
I won’t go into details about what happened. They simply don’t matter to the overall message of this post, which is: If it doesn’t move you forward, don’t focus your energy on it. Let it go. Easier said than done, I know. But hear me out.
Inhale. Exhale. Repeat.
I’m worlds away from my comfort zone. I’m doing things that I once wasn’t sure I’d do again. So to wind up the ole brain (while chasing a toddler and mothering six other kids) to make significant headway in any direction is a big deal. Seven-tenths of it is a lack of focus aided by three-tenths second-guessing and overthinking – things that are totally my jam.
When things go awry, I start to question every life choice I’ve made since choosing to make pee-pee in the potty. That process quickly devolves me from the strong, funny, confident writer you’ve been cleverly fooled into thinking I am.
I can’t help it. Believe me, I’ve tried.
And it’s not major negativity exclusively that sends me reeling. It can be anything from making plans to complete tasks that at the end of the day I just can’t see myself getting to for a few more, or an argument at home. Point is when it happens, and my train of thought is off the track, my work becomes the casualty.
If at First, You Don’t Succeed…
So my plan to combat this life of stymied stagnation is to be selective of what I let in. I’m going to change my process, my method for getting ish done. Here are five ways I’m working to get there.
1. Working at Starbucks for a While
Once upon a time, I worked at McDonald’s at night. Over the last (almost) two years, I’ve learned to adjust to daylight hours more or less. Luckily for me, the hipster-frequented one nearest me is open from 4:00 am to 11:00 pm. I’m really thinking of trying it out.
I’m hoping this is only temporary. Eventually, I’ll be in a better position and can make space to work from.
2. Hiring Help With What I Can’t (or Don’t Have Time) to Do
You’re only one person. You can’t do it all. Sometimes, you just need someone to take your plate and eat it for you. Nothing wrong with that.
Whether you need a housekeeper, a sitter, a nanny, a copywriter, or a web-guy from time to time, that doesn’t make you weak. It makes you smart – let’s you focus on what matters.
3. Implementing Timelines With Milestones for Goal Setting
Setting goals that fit within your S.M.A.R.T. requirements means you have a visual of what you want. Make it real, put it on paper. It’s the only way I’ve ever been able to do anything. Once you do, you’ll see that list for what it is, a list of destinations.
Along the way, you’ll want to see rewards or markers that let you know you’re on the right track to hit that goal. That’s what your milestones are for. Knowing I’m due for an upcoming milestone makes me work harder to get there, thus putting me ahead.
4. Creating a Long-term Timeline
You know all about setting S.M.A.R.T. goals, but for some of us, that’s not enough. In order for me to work diligently on something, it has to be in front of me, visible, and real.
Creating a timeline for the next year or two lets me see where I am in terms of where I want to be. Am I on target on my savings goals? If not, what’s my variance, and how can I make it up?
These are the questions you’ll need to ask yourself and ask often to cover the distance between your current life and your ideal one.
5. Limiting the Time I spend On Things that Cause Me Unnecessary Discomfort
There’s discomfort that forces you to grow and learn from your experiences, and then, there’s unnecessary discomfort like worrying about things you can’t control.
Here are some examples:
Necessary Discomfort: Learning to pitch and pitch regularly every day no matter what.
Unnecessary Discomfort: Worrying sick about what others think or may be saying about you behind your back.
What other people think about you isn’t your business. Your business is your business. Worry about it. Work on growing it and ignore anyone who plays passive/aggressive games like expecting you to be perfect.
Will it work? I hope so. I’d love to get to a place where I’m back to normal me, where what I do just gets done because I’ve dedicated the energy and time to the project that it deserved. That’s where I want to be.
As a freelancer, I don’t have the luxury of working from a nifty office I have all to myself. One day I will, but for now, I take what I can get and use it as best I can.
I’m done with being hindered or limited or backpedaling. Come at me what may, I’ll just have to file the “B” with the “S” and push onward. And while nothing is guaranteed, it’s that which I feed that will grow. I only wanna grow success.