In my efforts to live more authentically, I have tried to slow my life down and bring more order to my crowded schedule but of course, it’s a challenge every single day! In addition to my 30+ years of work in radio and television, I’m a public speaker, panel moderator, virtual events host, and business coach (not to mention, daughter, aunt, friend, and colleague). And obviously, I am not alone. Every day, I talk with at least one person who can’t find enough time to check even a few items off their long to-do list. They are CEOs, middle managers, organization leaders, and small business owners who are overwhelmed and sometimes paralyzed to make decisions. When you have 1000 things on your mind at work (along with personal stuff like family, friends, exercise, staying healthy, etc.), it’s incredibly hard to even think much less make a tough decision. So how do you fight through the all the noise and bring a semblance of order to your day? The first thing I do is ACTIVELY SIMPLIFY EVERYTHING. Here’s how:
- Acknowledge what you want. Acknowledge what you need. Acknowledge how you feel. Sit down in a quiet place, set a timer, and think just about these things. Write them down. The “feel” may be challenging because it may conflict with what you want or need.
- Choose what supports those things. Is it saying no? Is it asking for help? If there is a conflict between those three (what you want, need, and feel), learn to prioritize and then make your choice.
- Be honest. This is an exercise that you’re doing with yourself. There is no point in trying to convince yourself of feeling one way or another. There’s no judgment here. And that includes guilt. Sometimes when you actively think about how you feel or what you want, guilt bubbles up, because your choice may not lend itself to what you actually need.
- Commit to letting things go. After you commit to it, celebrate it! Remind yourself of what you’ve been able to do by letting go.
- Ask for it. Whether it’s hiring actual help or just asking a friend for support. Maybe you need a colleague to help you stay accountable to your goal. All you need to do is ask.
- There certainly is no definitive cure for feeling overwhelmed or frustrated; it’s different for everyone. But organizing your thoughts can be the place to start. I guarantee the process will help you learn to know your true self and reveal your authenticity … leading to a more productive and peaceful life.