Today was a good day. I got a lot accomplished. I organized, cleaned and plowed through a number of items that were on my list. I was glad, since the ‘someday’ undone tasks have been energy suckers for months.
I mentioned to my husband how unmotivated I have been lately. I was struggling to get excited to get moving in the morning, procrastinating like it was my business and feeling generally lethargic.
I could chalk it up to some recent health challenges, not feeling my normal self, listing our house for sale and prepping it for various showings, the rainy weather or otherwise – any excuse would do. I just wanted to cuddle up with a comforter and veg, even though there was so little opportunity for this.
Beginning to dissect the problem, it finally hit me. For the last four months I have had so many things to do, that my list has been endless. I have not been able to get everything done and there hasn’t been one single day, since May that my list was fully completed.
As an individual who thrives on projects that have a sense of closure and accomplishment, it is like I am perpetually failing. Failing to get everything done, failing to utilize proper time management, failing to stick to my schedule, failing to complete the daily tasks that I set out to do.
It was like a light bulb turned on in my brain and I had the sense that I finally figured out why I have been feeling so drained of energy. It isn’t because I am uninspired, bored or dreading my work – it is because my list is longer and more complex than the hours in a day.
I have set myself up for failure because I continue to type into the events and tasks portion of my phone all of the ideas, responsibilities and intentions that pop into my head. If you looked at the list, it would give you high blood pressure and a headache too.
Although technology has made our lives so much easier in so many ways, it also means that we are constantly on the job. There is no downtime. Our brain is always in ‘to do’ mode. I would rather spend my time talking and interacting with people. How do we balance all this?
With the realization that my list could only be accomplished by The Flash, I had to release the pressure I was putting on myself of getting it all done. I also realized that I had to remove the things from my list that were pending action by someone else. I still wrote the items down on their list; however, seeing those tasks, which I had no control over, only drained my energy further.
The other issue was that there were a number of things that I had as the ‘no due date’ tasks that I originally penned as unimportant until all of the important things were done, which turned out to be sucking my energy like a high powered shop vac. I actually needed to get those ‘no due date’ tasks done now, because I was sick and tired of looking at them daily, unfinished.
Since the moment I figured out the source of my energy drain, I become motivated again. I had a new found enthusiasm that propelled me to jump out of bed this morning, get into work early and tackle some pending items. I was filthy with sawdust, dirt, garbage and sweat and had to engage in less conversation than normal but it felt so fantastic to see the fruits of my labour.
Considering that our mental health is so connected to our energy level, it is essential that we take time to assess, research, analyze and reflect when we are feeling out of sorts.
This is especially important when there is so much to be upset about, happening all around us. Good people are dying young, natural disasters are impacting entire communities, people are battling serious health issues, financial woes are everywhere and our lives are generally complicated, exhausting and full of drama.
What do you need to do to get out of your funk? I would suggest taking some time alone with your thoughts, a peaceful setting and pen and paper. Then figure out how you can replenish your energy and get back on track.
On that note, I am off to dive into some more ‘no due date’ tasks. Now that I have had a late afternoon cat nap, I am off and running.
‘The greatest weariness comes from work not done.’ ~ Eric Hoffer
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