When we start getting organised with our lives and looking into all the parts that make up our existence, we can want to pounce on getting everything right IMMEDIATELY.
We begin with the right intention – to want to streamline things, to finally get that done, to feel purposeful and organised – but when we try to tackle everything at once it can lead to overwhelm and ultimately nothing changes.
Which is why I am such a champion for focussing on ONE major thing at a time. I’ve totally learned this the hard way. When I start getting my ‘let’s do this’ vibe on and looking at goals and projects I have a tendency to do everything at once.
Yup, I’ll start an exercise regime and a healthy diet and while I’m at it I’m also carrying out project house to haven, and decluttering every room in the house, plus designing new products and finishing my craft projects, and starting on that new cross stitch pattern. I want to dive into writing the book and doing that new skin care routine. Well, I’m on a roll now, so I’m going to start reading 7 of the books on my to read list, recommence my morning pages, only shop organic, start a new spirituality practice, join my local toastmasters, do a course on baking and continue my plans for world domination with love.
Yes, these are all good things. All things I want to experience and accomplish but this is just not going to work this way is it?
I honour my desires by writing them down somewhere so I can capture them in a place that won’t forget them (thank god for my master to do list!).
I want to set myself up for success, not failure right off the bat (NB: failure is your friend, but that is for another post!).
When you focus on one main thing at a time (or at a stretch 2 or 3) and you make steady improvements, it has a way of bringing up the other areas of life.
A coaching client of mine was focussing on her new business as her main goal. She has a busy life – studying at University and raising a little girl as well, plus her partner just moved in. Unsurprisingly she was feeling overwhelmed and was beating herself up because she wasn’t doing anything well. We worked on time management and working out her schedule, we created inspiring goals and manageable action lists, we dove into the ‘Why’ behind her reasons for starting her business. Things started to change for her.
She really saw that starting her business was connected with her own needs of self-accomplishment and for being a role model and provider for her child. Because we created a flexible schedule for her activities, she could feel productive during the day, hitting her goals and then be able to switch off and spend real quality time with her daughter and partner (instead of physically being with them but thinking of all the things she hadn’t done because she wasn’t clear). She also realised she needed to look after herself and her energy to be able to work on her business, so she almost automatically started exercising more frequently and eating better. Because she was better organised with her time and focussed on her business, she saw how she could link her uni studies to supporting her biz.
Other things happen in life, you have social commitments, you still have to eat and clean the house, these things will happen. But by having one clear goal – one main focus – you see progress, your confidence improves, your momentum builds and this certainly spreads.
I now create 1-3 main things each day, week, month and quarter to focus on. Yes, I occasionally get tempted to tackle everything at once, but I’ve now experienced the joys of focus and man, it is way better than constant overwhelm!
So, how can you get started with this?
1. Write down everything you want to do now.
2. Give yourself permission to NOT have to do everything immediately.
3. See which area of life/goal/project, that if you put most of your attention there will have the greatest positive impact on your life.
4. Make a note of the other things in a place that you can easily refer back to. You will create time for these when you are ready. Make sure you refer back to this list on a regular basis to see when you might be ready.
5. Write an inspiring, motivating, specific, measurable, attainable, reaching and time-framed goal for the thing you have chosen.
6. Allow whatever else has to happen in your life come up – consciously choose to do it or say thank you, but no or not now.
7. Do the work and celebrate each milestone. Don’t forget to pat yourself on the back!