Ocassionally, I feel the day slipping away from me. I feel flaky and unfocused with a thousand things to get done. My thoughts feel like random bits of confetti blown about the place. On a random morning last week, I found myself still in my pajamas and planted firmly in front of Part 3 of ‘The Jody Arias Story’ folding laundry at my kitchen island. The mint green display numbers on my stove read 10:23 and I began to panic.
I know how quickly the clock could read 5:23, with dinner looming and places to be. I could get stuck in a vortex of nonsense and distractions and half-completed tasts. Sure, Sean is here with me, but he is easily occupied by the next Warriors book or Quidditch Through The Ages.
Through some personal work and observation, I have learned how to handle this dilemna. I know how to redeem a day and what to do when I see the little Cessna, that is my life, taking a nosedive. Last year, my word was ‘Create’. Some of the things I created were habits, lists and routines. I needed to muster the willpower to bank right and set my course on things that would reset my flight plan.
I grabbed my handy bullet journal and did what I call a ‘brain dump’. All the ‘shoulds’ that were swirling around my head were suddenly inscribed in solid, black Pilot V5 marker on the page. Among the tasks were 3 phone calls and 2 emails, a trip to the library and the bank and a large stack of forms (I pray there are no forms in the afterlife). There were appointments to be scheduled, insurance issues to be handled and returns to be packed up and shipped to Amazon (do you always have a stack of those?!?!). Once they were all there in black and white, I felt better.
Then, I decided how much I actually wanted to watch the conclusion of the Jody Arias Story, and I decided that it was ‘a lot’. So I made a conscious decision to make another cup of coffee and watch the last 22 minutes. I don’t remember who taught me what to do with distrations. Brenee Brown? Elizabeth Gilbert? The concept is when you find yourself being pulled by a distraction, you need to decide whether to disengage or fully immerse in order to complete it and move on. I drank my coffee and watched my show and felt much better – except for the fact that people like Jody Arias exist. Sean opted for reading ‘Quidditch Through The Ages’. Surprise.
Then, it was time to truly move on. I have a list of what makes for a ‘great day’ – FOR ME. Remember, I do me, you do you. I learned these through hard work the previous year. I know that there are the things, that if they get done, at the end of the day, equate to feelings of accomplishment, fulfillment and ‘good day’ status.
One of my lists is a ‘do or die habits’ list. ~Make the bed ~Reboot the laundry ~Scoop the cat box ~ Empty the kitchen sink ~Know what’s for dinner. These habits save my life on a daily basis. Your list may be very different – but that’s what it’s all about.
I have another list that works for me too. The things are more personal, but help me reset. One thing on the list is drinking a large tumbler of water. Staying hydrated is a huge challenge for me and can put a dent in my productivity. From ‘good days’ of the past I have gleaned other activities that will help to keep balance and feel like the day was ‘well-spent’.
The point of lists and habits is to take decision-making out of the equation. I’ve made a deal with myself to simply follow the program I have set. By noon, I was killing it! Sean and I ate some lunch, cleaned up the kitchen, and engaged in a handful of things that were on HIS list. I checked off a gazillion boxes on my ‘to-do’ list.
Pick it up. Rinse it off. Try again. Save the day.