How often do you feel there just aren’t enough hours in the day? We cram our days full of chores, work, errands, family, projects not to mention sleeping, eating, etc and if we’re lucky we managed to find some time to chill or do fun activities.
Well, recently I’ve felt like all I do is work. Housework, business work, paperwork, blog work, marketing work… and it’s been getting me down.
When that happens, I usually try and step back and take stock. So here’s me…stock taking.
Time for a Step Back
When I was younger I used to have a bad habit of working myself up with all the things I “needed” to do. Turns out, many of them weren’t needs. In fact, I could have just stopped doing them and been happy.
Ahh hindsight, always so helpful at pointing things out late.
Nowadays when I start to find myself getting overwhelmed I take a step back. Which is what I’ve been “trying” to do. You may have noticed a lack of responses to comments, a decrease in my social media presence, etc.
I do this to keep myself sane. To keep myself from burning out and also to let me re-evaluate what’s important in my life.
Taking Stock of Life
I had a birthday not that long ago. I don’t really celebrate my birthday and I don’t share it. But they just keep happening and it’s hard not to look back over the year and think about everything I’ve done and everything I failed to do.
And yes, I’m one of those people who scrutinise all the failures and beat myself up over and over. So healthy! *sarcasm*
What I did notice is how much time some things have been taking. Whether it’s blogging, social media, work, chores, etc. Things feel like they’ve lost a bit of their efficiency. Most noticeably in the last three months.
Not really a surprise; illness, family crises and a house move will do that.
When things we don’t normally deal with (eg a house move) pop up, they can throw a real spanner in the works, sometimes the whole toolkit!
It puts everything back, delays us, messes up deadlines as well as sapping energy and motivation. Which has been happening, leaving me in a pretty foul mood.
Like this blog. I have always loved this blog, but recently, I’ve not. I’ve been seeing it as a chore and that was worrying. I never want this to become a chore. I love sharing my thoughts, my advice and connecting with others.
But even fun things can sour when we are struggling with lack of time, no energy and a boat-load of stress.
<—- This boat!
So I’m doing a reset.
This is where I strip everything back again. I clear the chessboard and reset the pieces.
This is important as it allows me to see clearly (now don’t go bursting into song!) If you don’t clear away everything first, you can’t really see what is bogging you do.
Something that slipped the net, was my Task Blocking Schedule that worked so well for me. Since the beginning of the year that flew out the window and it has been a noticeable absence.
The first thing I will do with my reset is re-establish that schedule. I also want to give myself the weekends back. I’ve been working almost 7 days a week on something and having the odd chill day.
That’s not healthy so I need to reclaim my weekends for more fun activities that are not connected to my Writing, my Business, my Blog or any marketing project.
Clawing Back Leisure Time
It only hit me how little actual leisure time I get, when I was visiting my brother. He’s a full-on tech-head and has a room for his VR which he’s had for years.
I got to play several awesome games including Beat Saber, Space Pirate Trainer and The Lab all of which I totally loved. It’s been a while since I just played computer games.
Not to mention I’ve not been to the park for ages.
Not taken any new nature photos or visited any landmarks for a long while.
I’ve not just stopped and enjoyed “being” in nature.
Following the move we don’t do archery or pottery any more (can’t really afford to now we have a house to pay for) so that void gets filled with, you guessed it, more work.
I’m quite a bad person for leisure time as I can get caught up with feelings of “I should be doing x” or “there are x things I haven’t completed yet”. That’s not a good attitude to have so that will also need to be worked on.
A reset will also let me confirm that everything that’s on my plate is actually important and the most important things, get top priority attention.
I also need to make sure leisure is considered “top priority” otherwise I’ll probably just forget it. Same goes for exercise which has dropped off the list recently.
One thing I actually started in March was giving each month an overarching project. March was Video Month. Because I was tired of bouncing “launch a video” goal to a new month each time I failed to complete it.
So instead I joined a challenge, created a list of steps to get me to the end and made March’s “whale-of-a” Task – Video.
And you know what? I did it!
Despite some family crises, despite travelling back to England for 5 days, I managed to complete the slides and (awful) voice recordings and launch my very first Skillshare Class – How to Create an Author Website.
Yes, it might be terrible. Yes, people might not enjoy it. But I did it. I’m proud of myself for that and I find when I actually start something, it’s easier to carry it on. So doing another class or doing a Youtube video will be a lot easier now.
Next Month’s ‘Whale’
April’s “Whale-of-a” Task is Business Experiments.
My business has grown pretty well over the years, especially as I don’t do as much marketing as I should.
However, I want to boost it a little and to do that I need to experiment with ideas for new products, SEO changes, marketing techniques.
So I have set myself a number of experiments I need to run that can be tracked. This will allow me to make better decisions, reach a bigger audience and stay ahead as the platform I run on makes (yet more) changes.
Sometimes it’s good to take these reset moments, to make sure you’re still on track, make sure you’re not wasting precious time on things that are no longer worth it.
Have you ever done a reset? How did it go?