Pursuing Priorities

I’m learning that I can accomplish more by doing less. I took off the last week of the year and returned to work on January 2nd, which happened to be a Thursday. So in between catching up on a personal level and trying to figure out where to start at my desk, I began to feel that overwhelming feeling of things slipping out of my control. So my cycle of anxiety continues.

I did bring work home with me while I was off for the holidays. So I wasn’t completely disconnected from that responsibility. After two days back at work and looking at the pile of paperwork on my desk, and trying to organize it all into a list, I was frustrated. Friday afternoon, I finally decided that I just needed to pack it up and bring it home with me to see what I could get done from the house.

But at the last minute,, I had a little conversation with myself. I stopped and gave the situation some real thought. I decided to leave all that responsibility right there, on my desk. I left Friday without one file from work to bring home. So what!! Let it sit.

As I sit here towards the end of my weekend, I feel productive and rested. I’ve been purging my closet for weeks. Slowly going through my things and rethinking where I’m at style wise for a woman approaching 60. I ordered hangers and pant clips in December. They’ve been sitting in a spare room. Yesterday I started with the pants. Instead of folding them over hangers, they are all now clipped onto the hanger and hung lengthwise. Then I moved on to the backroom, where all of my tops, jackets, cardigans, and dresses are stored. I moved everything onto the new hangers. This allowed me to get rid of 2 more bags of clothing that no longer serve me or represent who I am or who I want to be.

I’ll admit there were a few things that I found difficult to get rid of. I looked at some of those things long and hard. Some even went onto new hangers, only to be ripped off and tossed into the “to go” bag. Now when I look in my closet I feel happiness and excitement. I also realize I need to focus on solids and foundation pieces. I think that’s a very powerful judgement of my wardrobe and my life. I need more foundation. 

But what I really wanted to share in this blog today is that we can’t expect to accomplish everything. We live in a society that wants us to believe that we should always be grinding away, hustling. No hustle, no accomplishments, no value. That’s a lie society tells us; and because of that powerful influence, we talk to ourselves this way as well.

Yes, I was busy this weekend. I didn’t sit around. I did something that I wanted to do. Something that I had been wanting to do, but kept putting off because of perceived responsibilities.

Sometimes we try to do too much. That’s why vacations to destinations we’ve dreamed of can be exhausting. We don’t want to miss a thing, so we try to do it all in a very small span of time. Life can be much the same if you allow it. Because I didn’t try to do too much this weekend, I feel rested, fulfilled, and ready to face whatever my Monday may hold.

The key to a healthy work and home balance is focus. It so easy to find yourself down a rabbit hole that sometimes goes nowhere. For me, I will focus on work when I am there. When it’s time to go home, I will close my office door and focus on home. When everything bleeds over from one project to another, you can be like a dog chasing it’s own tail. Very busy, but accomplishing nothing.

This week I am going to try to take time to assess each situation or task that comes before me. Especially when I began to feel the anxiety start to build within my mind and body. Tomorrow when I get to work, I will be ready to focus on that pile on my desk. It’s really very simple. Just pick up the first piece of paper and go on my way. I’m sure things that require immediate attention will crop up. Co-workers and residents will bring issues that they believe need immediate attention. But through it all, whatever it might be, I hope that I remember to breathe and realize that sometimes I need to say “that’s not possible today” or “I’ll get to it later”. 

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