Personal posts, Productivity & Motivation, Well Being & Mental Health

What’s Most Important? (On Prioritising)

For as long as I can remember, I’ve struggled to do all the things I want to. When I was younger it was school, looking after Mum, hanging out with friends, and doing all the social action/volunteering I took part in. As I got older, moved away to uni, and got stuck into my degree, it was the societies I wanted to be part of, the writing I was doing, and of course my actual degree. Nowadays, it’s juggling my full time job, my passion for writing, my dream to start a social enterprise, spending time with M, house stuff, and seeing friends. It’s safe to say it’s a juggling act, and one which I’ve been pretty bad at. I always seem to drop a ball or two (or three or four). I’m forever trying to figure out ‘hacks’ and organisational tricks in order to keep all the balls in the air. It never works though.

If one area is doing well, ball flying into the air and being caught gracefully, another area is inevitably slipping. If it’s not completely on the floor, it’s stuck in my hand, or balanced under my armpit. I always berate myself for the balls I’m not catching, the things I’m ‘neglecting’. The truth is nobody can catch all the balls all of the time. I know that, and I’m trying to remind myself of that when I’m stressing out about the things I’m not doing. The other day I had a breakthrough. The things I am spending my time, energy, and brain power on are the thing which I am prioritising. No matter if they’re the things which are actually important to me, these are the things which have become my priorities. So it’s time to get them in order.

I talk to people about wellbeing, self-care, loving yourself, and confidence. But I can’t do that in good conscience unless I practice what I’m teaching (I know it’s ‘preaching’ but I don’t like doing that).

The truth is, I’ve been struggling. I’ve felt like the battle to balance between my 9-5, working on my goals, spending time with my partner, seeing friends, and having me time, is simply overwhelming me. I haven’t been taking care of myself enough. I haven’t been talking to friends enough. I haven’t been working on my passion enough. I’ve spent most of my time either at work, or stressing out about the hundred and one other things I want to think I should be doing.

I’ve recently got in touch with an amazing Coach, Carol, through the LinkedIn Career Advice portal. This week we had a Skype call for some mentoring/coaching. She helped me look at the barriers to living my best life, and suggested some actions I can take to overcome them. We came up with the areas I want to focus on, and ways I can begin the work to get to where I want to be.

So instead of trying to do a thousand productivity challenges, online courses, and workbooks, I’m going back to basics. For the next 9 weeks (I chose this timeline as I have a personal goal in 9 weeks time, so it fits to do this challenge up until then) I will focus on 3 areas:

  1. Self-care and my own wellbeing – I need to really live the things which I believe in. I can’t help anyone else, or be productive and creative unless I am taking care of myself. I’m going to spend some time this weekend mapping out ways I can practice self-care in my daily life, and then commit to following through.
  2. Working on my goals – I have these big dreams, which I’ve talked about for years. Recently I’ve been incredibly honoured to be invited to take steps towards those dreams, but now the real work begins. I’m carving out an evening each week to work on my project. Researching, connecting with people, and doing the work. This is the only way I can actually progress. It’s time to take the reins of my life, or as Carol said to me, be in my own driving seat.
  3. Managing Stress – I’ve been getting pretty overwhelmed at work, most days I end up feeling stressed out, unhappy, and like I’m climbing up a mountain to actually get things done. This can’t carry on, as it’s using up all my mental energy, and making me miserable. I’m committing to really think about the reasons for this, and some ways I can minimise the issues. Whilst I’m here I want to make the best of it, and learn something which I can take forward into my career, and personal life too.

I’m going to blog about my journey; the things I discover and learn along the way, and any challenges I face. I finally have a focus, and a plan which feels manageable without overwhelming me.
I’d love for you to come on this journey with me. If you want to work on any of these areas, or have your own priorities, follow my blog to get updates on my progress. Let me know your priorities in the comments, if we all share we can encourage and support each other.
Have a great day,

3 thoughts on “What’s Most Important? (On Prioritising)”

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