Keepin' it 100%: I'm “doing” less to achieve more.
Okay, so I am a serial-lister- guilty as charged. I list 1000 things to do during my day and pack it all into 3 little boxes in my planner so I can stay “productive” because I am sooooo busy. I actually am busy (like really busy), but I don’t do half of the things I list out everyday in my planner. Most of the time my planner will look like I’m trying to have 3 client meetings, make a flower wall, create an Instagram schedule, keep up with requests, keep up with social media, write blog posts, send out invoices, AND work a full time job and doing all that is NOT physically possible to accomplish on a Tuesday (or any day TBH). I basically have this awesome habit of mentally over-committing myself to all of these things I want to do and then I become overwhelmed and subconsciously (or consciously) choose to not accomplish a lot of it. I now understand why I felt constantly crappy and overwhelmed a lot last year- it’s because I set my planner up to make me fall short every day. I would then feel stressed out that I’m not doing enough or that I’m not productive enough and the energy I was using up by stressing about my lack of productivity meant that I still wasn’t doing what I needed to actually get done because I was just sitting around being bummed out. Sooo yeah, I’m not doing that anymore.
I don’t want to make myself feel bad by giving myself the perception that I’m “under achieving” because A.) we need to stop glorifying being “busy”. I was really STUPID BUSY for like 3 years straight and you know what? It sucked - I gained weight, became generally cranky, and stopped taking care of myself mentally and physically which DEFINITELY slowed down my productivity. B.) My body hated me. I went to the ER twice for unexplained abdominal pain. I would get stomach pains all the time. It also didn’t help that I was so stressed that I wasn’t eating correctly or exercising. My hair started falling out. Not like a few strands here and there, but like a whole chunk of my hair (1.5 in diameter) on the back left side of my head fell out at the same time and I (naturally) freaked the F*CK out. Luckily, I have thick hair and it was in the back so nobody could tell since I have longer hair, but I know it’s there! It’s growing back now, but it’s still there. C.) It triggered unhealthy competition in me. I was constantly comparing myself to what others were posting on Instagram, what these perfectly put together girls on Youtube were sharing, and comparing myself with other people in our industry. It was never malicious competition, but I would just constantly compare myself to other people who seemingly had it all together and appeared to have their whole life and business figured out. I’ve always known that your “social media life” is not real life, but GOSH DARN IT, they make it look so easy to be so organized and put together and I’ve fallen victim to the kool-aid plenty of times.
I am making it a lifestyle change starting 2019 and beyond to intentionally do less. I’m not trying to have less responsibilities or have more free time, I’m just trying to focus on completing tasks that need to get done by only listing the items that have the most priority for that day. I am also limiting myself to around 3-5 items on my “To Do” list per day so that I can feel more confident that I can achieve them. Having less items on my “To Do” list also allows me to feel less pressed for time which means that I can focus on the task fully and do a better job (and have less anxiety). I am also able to be more realistic with my expectations for myself. I have been trying this method for about 2 weeks now and it really has made a difference in the way I structure my day and also how I feel about owning a business. I’m way less stressed, I’m able to focus and feel more confident in the things I need to do for clients, I’m going to sleep at midnight now (instead of 2 am) and I’m just getting things done. I’m spreading out my tasks over the course of my week instead of just listing everything out in one day and so far I haven’t fallen behind. I feel less anxious at night and I can actually sleep! I feel like getting a better sleep alone is definitely going to make me maintain this! I haven’t been this rested in so long! I don’t want to set myself up for failure and it’s not that I have lower expectations for myself now, it’s just that I have higher expectations for the quality of work that I want to get done and I feel like that is more important than checking a bunch of stuff off a list. I’m only 1 person and I only have 24 hours in a day. I can only give 100% of myself and nothing more. I’m being more selective in what I’m exerting my energy towards everyday which I think will lead to a lot less burnout for me and a better mental state. Here’s to accomplishing more, by making myself do less!