It’s been really fun to sink into this topic, while in a phase of hmmm… “moderately busy.” Steady. There is a lot to do, and the list is long, but the pressures are a couple of weeks out, and so I have enjoyed your posts and insights as a way to help me look into what is my version of balanced busy – and innovate.
I love it when a plan comes together. I love it even more when multiple examples of plans come together to educate and inform me of new ways that I can maintain a productive pace, while also showing me new ways to move into that life of “ease” that I dream about. So much of what drives our community is the desire to achieve, to succeed on our own terms. That takes great effort, and even greater busy-ness, until suddenly it folds into reality. Suddenly, you are in it. Suddenly you are there.
I am certainly there. Busy as hell, but easily and enjoyably. Consciously.
In a practical way, this conscious busy-ness means I have spent the week being disciplined about the structures I have created over the years that support my productivity, while I’m in action, and most important while I am not always present to what needs to be done next. I keep my computer work-space clean and de-cluttered daily. I check my lists at the end of the day to see what has been done and what needs to be done. I write those lists when I have clarity about the tasks, and I do the things on the list, without questions or hesitation. (This process in itself creates a lot of self-trust.) I keep myself well fed, and I plan out a few days of meals at at time; I don’t wait until it is 9 pm and I am just starting to think about dinner. I put my phone on silence and I check my messages every couple of hours. I turn on the radio in the kitchen. This keeps me light and happy, and in this really amazing way, grounded. I stay connected to real-time, instead of head-time and the ideas that I can’t complete fast enough. The music keeps me moving around and in my body, instead of in my head, cultivating anxiety.
That is balance. That is the exact structure I have created over the years. It is simple, and I know when I am out of balance if the anxiety surfaces. That does not mean I am always successful at balance, however. Panic attacks are the result of a creepy addiction to adrenaline, and I don’t mind over-serving myself. No, not at all. I still have three or four a month. The difference is what I do about them. That is the structure that is re-emerging, and that has been my focus for the week. Lately, I have added back a regular running routine, and the busier I get, the more that serves me. It gives me positive energy, and it burns off that adrenalized energy. I can think more clearly, and I make better decisions about my priorities. To spite adding four hours of activity to my week, it has allowed for the mental laser-focus that has been required to make some great choices for my business. Already those extra four hours of activity per week have paid off in how they are affecting my efficiency as a whole. I am experiencing some really great results.
So, what is my innovation for the week, after all of this, yours and mine? Consciously slowing down. I see all of the busy-ness all around me. I know my own temptation to let it swoop me up into it’s buzzing wings and carry me away. Instead this week, I have consciously engaged in the structures I have created for myself over the years, and I have taken a moment each day to slow down and recognise my accomplishments and results. It has not been a huge or time consuming addition to my process. I have simply added thoughts about my results to those “thinking” spaces – driving, walking, and yes, running; cooking dinner.
In the spaces between busy-nes, I have added mental images of my results, my success. Yes, I am still busy. I do lots of things. The critical difference is that those precious down-time moments, I am marinating in my success, not my worry about whether it would all get done. It feels awesome. It allows for the balance between the desire for success and its actualization.
I am not busy, only. I am achieving my goals. I am satisfied.
I too love when a plan comes together, especially when the long list was carried out efficiently! I like to see how you are successful and how you waylay the panic when things get hectic.
The highlights for me in here were that you are really relying on your structures put in place for times just like these. I have some of these, but I like the detail you put here as it makes me realize that if I identify a few more for myself, I can call on them when needed. It was a busy week for me, socially mainly – three of four nights I was attending networking events for two to three hours at a time. By Thursday I wasn’t coping well at work, a little tired from too many later nights and not enough downtime. So, having a bit more structure would help me there.
A key challenge for me – and I like how you’ve outlined it here – is how I manage it when the tiredness overcomes me (besides going to sleep immediately). The way you mentioned that when the anxiety surfaces, you are aware of it and take it as the sign that it is, and what a difference it makes in what you do about that anxiety and imbalance when they show up. Once it hits me, I’m not very strong at managing or lifting myself out of that place. Yes, more walking – always a good reminder (or a run). I tend to lean into the miserable feelings rather than step back and reassess. The slowing down, the recognition of the accomplishments and the mental images of results – these are all great take-always for me! Thank you for outlining them, as I really think they could work well for me too.
I really appreciate the details you have given concerning your process. There are gold nuggets in it for me, like not questioning or hesitating to do what’s on the to do list. I am getting better with that myself and I notice how much easier some things get by not checking back on whether or not to do them. That’s that no questioning part. Love it.
I am working with mental images, too. Esp. as you have given me the idea, I visualize myself putting on my running gear and getting out the door whenever I lay in bed and feel there is too much tension in my system to easily fall asleep. Most of the time it’s working and I’m starting to love that space where I can enjoy the positive effects of my running all over again.
And for you to have the outcome of panic attacks “just” coming and going, wow, that is quite an achievement!! That’s plain awesome. Being able to copy that would be a life changer for so many people!