Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Confession



 



Confession. 

I'm a freelancer and I'm feeling overwhelmed.

This makes me absolutely certain I'm not cut-out for the big, corporate, high-flying, uber-busy-all-the-time world.

I've usually had jobs in places that were fairly laid back, but with the needed jolts of busy-ness here and there. I haven't had jobs where people run around, frantic, super stressed, shoulders arched and eyes buzzing in caffeine frenzies.   Well, actually, that's not entirely true.

Nowadays, I work from home, waking up at about 6:37am, and going to bed around 1am. I spend 10+ hours working. Most of my work is online so I don't have too many distractions unless I get sucked into Facebook...and, well, that certainly happens.

As a freelancer, I take on the projects I want. I'm fairly in control of my own schedule and I thrive on the flexibility that gives me.

The problem is I've recently put a lot on my own plate. And as mentioned above, I'm not one that gets off on being super busy all the time.

Over the last several months, I've carved out several different projects to work on. Some of them are big. Some of them are not. Many take up a lot of time.

I'm realizing I need to come up with a system, a systematic approach, to reach my goals while still taking care of myself and getting the rest I need so I don't continue to feel overwhelmed.

See, this weekend, I had a bit of a meltdown. Just a bit of one. Maybe a tantrum, really.

I was tired. Really tired. My body had been giving me all sorts of red flags to slooooow down. There was the migraine. And, well, the fatigue. And then there's that nasty Mycoplasma Infection our family had over the holidays that could still be holding on by a small thread. There's the elevated blood pressure, too.

All of these things I've pretty much been ignoring. I've been too excited to give in. Though tired, I've been on a roll and I didn't want to stop. Or slow down. I have too many plans - plans that make me happy and excited - to consider slowing down.


During my tantrum, I wasn't - er - very nice to The Husband and owed him an apology. After telling him I was just "so tired," he told me I needed to start having fun, not work on the weekends, and realize most of the deadlines and pressure I put on myself is self-imposed.

He's right, of course; but I still am not sure how to make time for the fun when I have the self-imposed deadlines on purpose so that I can reach my Big Dreams and Big Goals.

Then I got sick that night. Flu. Food poisoning. I'm not sure which. From the early hours of Sunday morning until mid-day today, I've been mostly in bed. I can hold food down now. That's good. And I have more energy.

I said I was tired and needed to sleep, and then had no choice but to do that. I did work a bit, too. From bed. But just bursts here and there.

Enter: guilt. I feel guilty that it takes awhile to reply to emails sometimes and that I'm behind on the two e-courses I'm taking. I feel guilty that there are a few people I haven't been responsive to at all, which is unlike me. I feel guilty that I can see a slippery slope is starting to emerge. (If you're one of the people I haven't replied to yet, I'm sorry!!) 

Though I'm realizing I need to figure out ways to take better care of myself AND better care of my schedule, I'd be curious to know what works for you.

What are some strategies that you use to help you break-down your goals and get them done. What if you're working on multiple projects at a time?




15 comments:

  1. Hi Becky, I totally am in the same place as you. I am learning (and trying hard) to make time for "self care". Make rituals each day that are for your health and mind and happiness.What feels good to you, maybe yoga or stretching, a short meditation, sitting in the sun with a cup of tea, anything. It's trying to remember to slow down and be in the present. Anyway, I'm not great at it either.. Good luck and I hope you feel better soon!

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    1. Jennifer, thank you for taking the time to reply! Thank you for the suggestions about self care. I like the idea of making a daily ritual for this. I hope that it's getting easier for you, too, and that you're finding ways to also take care of you.

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  2. I prioritize, make a list and I put a time limit on some of these projects and chores. Also I usually won't take on something new unless I finish something else. I also schedule a finish-up period, can be from a week to a month depending on the amount of projects. Some projects can get out of control and then I have to change the game plan sometimes dramatically.
    Doing the morning pages and meditation at some point of the day stabilizes me. I do a kind thing for somebody everyday, it's a ritual, it reminds me about others and patience. Oh and I do yoga at least 3-4 times a week, wish it was daily. Also I will not eat junk, non at all I find it very dangerous for our systems and lots of water.
    Love your stories and writing and I hope this helps you and a big hug!

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    1. Lisa, thank you!

      I am grateful for all of your tips. Prioritizing seems to be something I've been leaving out: I've just been trying to get it all done, all at once! lol I think it's also smart that you don't usually take on a new project until you've finished something. It reminds me of when I tell my daughter she can't take out new toys until she's put away the ones she is finished with.

      Thank you so much, Lisa! <3

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  3. Amazing how many of us are feeling the same thing, Becky. I was where you are now a couple of weeks ago... had a complete meltdown because I couldn't get my printer to work. Really?!?? Crying hysterically because I couldn't print??? Yeah, it was just the tipping point for me. I think I've been listening too much to my "inner mean girl" as well which is like bullying myself... NOT GOOD! After reading your post, I'm going to carve out time this weekend to map out everything to conquer the 'overwhelmedness'(is that a word?) that I've been feeling. I will start with a mind-map and then make a prioritized to-do list along with a "do everyday" list. I'm fairly certain this is manageable if I had it all written down in one place.

    Have you ever tried mind-mapping?

    Hugs,
    jane
    p.s. We'll get through this together! xoxo

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    1. Hi Jane!
      Thank you. <3 Yes, you're right. We'll get through this all together.

      How did it go with your mind map and your prioritized to-do list? I hope that seeing it down on paper made it feel like you could take it all on, chunk by chunk. I also hope that quieted down Ms Mean Girl! (She needs to go hibernate!) :)

      <3

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  4. Oh, Becky, I'm sorry about the stress. Finding balance can be so, so hard sometimes. I am not good at juggling too much at once so when I feel overwhelmed my answer is always to simplify. I make a prioritized list and then go through it looking for anything I am able and willing to let go. Even letting just one thing go can be such a relief. Being over-committed is terrible for our health and bad for our relationships. I know you can find the balance that's right for you and your family. Keep hope alive!

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    1. Thank you for your kind + understanding words, Janice. You're right: we do need reminders that we can let certain things go sometimes. Thank you. <3

      Through all of your support, I am feeling less overwhelmed now, by the way!

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  5. Oh, Becky, I hear you loud and clear! My mind has been jumping with all kinds of ideas and inspiration, I set up my calendar, to-do lists and jumped right in. Then BAM!! Some type of flu-bug snatched the floor from under me...I went down hard and I'm still recuperating! Ugh...I figure, since I wasn't watching my cues and paying attention to the people close to me about slowing down, the Universe decided to sit me down HARD!

    Now, I'm listening, and taking careful steps as I prioritize...baby steps...I forgot that...hang in there, doll, we'll get better and hopefully wiser. :)

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    1. How are you feeling now, Indigene? Are you better? I hope that you have recovered now from that nasty flu!

      I think the Universe was telling both of our introverted, highly sensitive, Aquarius souls to slow the hell down. lol

      We should both listen. <3

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  6. I don't know if you are like me but when I get excited about new possibilities, but I tend to take one thing after another on and before I know it then all comes tumbling down on me simply because I can't do it all. Last year was kind of like that for me. One thing after another, all these good things and thinking I could do it all and even more. Well that won't work at all for me this year it seems. I've had to slow right down and I know it's not a bad thing it's temporary as I continue to find my balance and follow my heart's truest desire with what I want in life and learn to not take on more than I can humanly do.

    I wish for you to find what makes your heart sing and do 'only' that and give yourself the self-care and rest that you need and want. xo

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    1. Wish I could give you a big hug, Suzanne. Thank you. <3 You described it perfectly!

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  7. We are all on the same wavelength, maybe it's post holiday stuff. I would also pose a possibility that is has something to do with the seasons. We are all at the peak/depths of the opposites, the full moon has just passed. As to how to deal with it, I use nature as much as poss. Summer is "out there", winter is "in", My body works in cycles, why not my work. Having said that Becky you are in Burma, I have not been there. Is it tropical where you are, the same all year around? Peeole here actually miss having a decent winter. The tropics can be the same if you come from a more seasonal climate. All the others have great tips As well as lists, and intentions, I would put in "listen" and "release", let go of the reigns and "trust" that everything is how it needs to be, maybe you will be surprised how easy things can be when you sign over control to the forces that be. I have found this. Hope this helps. A day off always helps too, playing with kids.

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    1. Hi Suzi,
      It seems like many people are feeling super overwhelmed, like you said.

      I'd like to learn more about what you said re: nature/cycles, etc. The climate is a bit seasonal, but still tropical all year. Dec - Feb is the cooler time (but not at all cool) and slightly less humid, though it began getting hotter last week. It even rained and that is apparently very rare (it's not meant to rain a lick until monsoons which should start in June). From now on, it will just get hotter and hotter. April-May are the hottest months until it becomes so full, the monsoons come. The rains will stay until Sept-early October.

      Hmm...maybe the seasons have played something in this!<3

      Thank you, Suzi! <3

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