How did this happen?


I am the type of person who enjoys a sense of accomplishment and completing tasks. This is probably why I feel so stressed that I have 420 pending emails in my inbox. Although I have glanced at most of them, I have about a hundred items to print, many to archive, some to take action on, some to fully read and more to delete. How is it that we have become so out of control?

I actually think that we should invent a new syndrome; let’s call it the ‘When I Have Time Syndrome’. Our outstanding tasks are often holding us hostage, draining our energy and have become an anchor that we drag around with us, all day long.

Our world today is too overscheduled, too full of stuff, too busy, too fast and too chaotic. I always wished that I lived in the Little House on the Prairie days, where things were much simpler. Mind you, having running water is quite nice.

It seems that many people are deciding to return to some basics again; however, what exactly does slowing down the pace mean to you? For me, it is simplifying my life. It means unsubscribing from any emails that I no longer want to receive. It means decluttering my spaces. It means having checklists for shopping or better systems for organization and efficiency.

Simplifying means: setting aside a few extra minutes a week to clean up my emails, in the same way I clean up our home. It means, emptying my vehicle of any items and garbage, on my way in the door at the end of the day. It means, putting in a load of laundry regularly, instead of letting it pile up. It means downsizing my closet, my drawers and my cupboards, so that I have less items that can get messy, disorganized or out of place.

I have come to understand that I need peace in my surroundings, to have peace of mind. Although you would never know, by the condition of my desk in the middle of a workday, I always put everything back in place, and with some semblance of order, before I leave for the day. This ritual has become a habit which makes me feel a sense of closure and completion, even when there are so many things left to complete.

Occasionally watching hoarding shows always seems to kick me into high gear, as I am reminded that clutter, mess and disorganization in our spaces can often mean clutter, mess and disorganization in our mind, about something painful in our lives.

Especially when I am drained or stressed, I find that organizing something always makes me feel better. If you are studying and feeling distracted, try putting all of your binders and supplies in order, wipe off your desk, tidy the items around the desk, which are in your immediate view, and then start fresh. You will be amazed at the effect that this has on your concentration.

If you are not sure if you might have too much on your plate, too many things on the go, too much disorganization in your surroundings, or in your life, just quickly take a peek around you, at this very minute.

What do you see? Do you have a handle on things? Are you in control of your environment? If company stopped by, unannounced right now, would you be okay with it? If not, perhaps you can do a ten second tidy and see how that feels.

There is nothing more disheartening than seeing someone we love or care about live, work, function or exist in chaos, mess or dirty, disorganized and unhealthy spaces or situations. The only problem is that we can’t do for others that which they are not willing to do for themselves.

We can offer assistance, suggest some solutions, set consequences or establish our own boundaries; however, a person in the middle of chaos is ultimately responsible for taking his or her own action. No one else can do this for them.

I hope that you are all on top of things. If not, I hope you find some time to do this for yourself. If you don’t have the energy, at least remove yourself from the chaos for a while, and get some fresh air. Trust me, you will feel better, even if everything else in your life is upside down.

‘It’s a lack of clarity that creates chaos and frustration. Those emotions are poison to any living goal.’ ~ Steve Maraboli (Life, the Truth, and Being Free)

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