The modern age brings many demands on our time. Social media; so many channels on TV; the internet showing us many possibilities; lots of books we haven’t read yet; activities we’re encouraged to take part in... and, if we’re involved in particular activities, there’s always something else we should be doing, more we should be learning.
Anyone feeling overwhelmed? How about anxious that you can’t keep up? Are you worried that you might miss something?
Phew! It’s common for people to feel like they just can’t keep all the plates spinning and often live in fear that one of them will drop. This makes us try even harder, do even more, and try and cram more into life.
I found a saying attributed to Mahatma Gandhi recently:
“There is more to life than simply increasing its speed.”
And yet, you’d be forgiven for thinking that the only way to success is to be better, go higher, be richer, be busier.
So, what’s the antidote?
I’ve recently taken part in some research with Penn State University (https://ppc.sas.upenn.edu/) which was really interesting. Every morning for a week, I wrote down the main tasks I had to do that day. This wasn’t really run of the mill stuff like walk the dogs, but it could have been. Then, each night, I had to review what I’d done during that day. Reviewing was an observation rather than a judgement; it was about noticing what I’d achieved, and how that felt. Equally, if something hadn’t got done, my job was to understand why, not to judge that I’d failed.
Now, whilst I fully understand the value of planning and goal setting, I completely underestimated the power of this small act. For the whole week, even though I didn’t always complete what I’d planned, I felt awesome. I achieved so much, and even the bits I didn’t do, I understood why, so was able to plan even better the next day. There were also those things that didn’t get done, which I realised probably didn’t really need doing at all! At least not right then.
So, when you’re feeling pulled this way and that, when time is short, when it feels like you need a 48 hour day, try this technique and see what happens to your focus. Please let us know how you get on and share your observations!