When I was a child, time felt like the longest thing in the world. I remember my Grandad saying to me “you wait ‘til you get to my age, time passes in the blink of an eye”. I used to roll my eyes and continue to moan about how long I had to wait for the summer holidays to start. Now I know exactly what he meant and, try as I might, I can’t stop the clock from ticking.
Mother nature has it sorted…
She seems to have everything completely in balance, things happen when they’re supposed to happen, unless external variables outside of her control (human beings mainly) start to mess it up! No matter what kind of nightmare, or fun, I seem to be having the sun always sets and then rises again the next day no matter what. At one level it’s great to know there’s something constant about life and time. On the other hand, it makes my to-do list become even more overwhelming because I want to achieve so much in so little time!
Trouble is I’m also guilty of not always focusing on my priorities. I get distracted or feel the need to support the priorities of others over mine or my family’s. Often this results in a balance that just feels wrong and, honestly, starts to make me feel unwell. I have learnt how to spot the warning signs. These include periods when I know I’m not operating at my best, when I find myself focusing on only one or two things (primarily work!), I start to forget things, I’m tired and grumpy most of the time, or I rush from one thing to the next not giving the slightest bit of attention as to why and for what or who’s purpose. Recognise any of this?
If you want to get the balance right it’s time to focus in on what’s important…
It’s easier said than done, I know. But at least get clear in your head what your priorities are and on how you want life to be. At least that way, you’ll have something to aim at! The life wheel is a simple tool to enable this kind of thinking (subject of another blog to come!) but once you’ve got some clarity, my top 3 tips for staying on track include:
- Write it down. Simple but brilliant! If you don’t, it may continue to churn round in your head alongside the other things you think you should be doing, making your brain foggy and less effective. Plus, you’re more likely to forget it or take a while to recall it, particularly when you’re in the throws of being stressed about something else! If you’re feeling creative you could draw your to-do list, turning it into a piece of modern art. Either way, stick it up where you will see it every day.
- Journal your progress. Jot down your progress towards your priorities every day. Spend no longer than 5 minutes doing this, otherwise it will become a chore and add another unwanted item to your to-do list. If you don’t fancy journaling, put a notebook next to your bed and write down 3 things you’ve done each day in relation to your priorities before you go to sleep. Positive affirmations are a great way of building momentum and enabling positive thought.
- Tell somebody else. Put it out there, share it with others, ask them for their help and support in making it happen. Ask them to hold you accountable for the things you want to achieve and ask them to remind you of it, especially when your balance looks like it’s taking a nose dive in the wrong direction.
When your thinking is cluttered and you’ve lost sight of what’s important in your life, you can quickly start to feel unbalanced in all sorts of ways. Remember there will only ever be 24 hours in a day, 7 days in a week and 365 days in a year. The clock will keep ticking.
What will you focus on when the sun rises again tomorrow? Whatever it is, I hope it brings you some balance.