I have a tried and tested formula for every time I feel overwhelmed. The typical situation begins a long to-do list where everything seems both urgent and important on first glance. It becomes clear that this list of tasks isn’t likely to get done in the time period I have in mind. And bam! I’ve hit that wall. I realized this as I spent 30 minutes this morning attempting to muster enough inspiration for a blog post.
My instinct, when I feel stuck, is to motor through. Get the post out, build momentum, get to work. But, after 30 minutes of frustration, it was time to trigger the process to get unstuck.
The first step? Sleep.
Yup, right when I feel I have no time to get the things I want done, the step that works first is an hour or so of sleep. Somehow, when I wake up, I find it much easier to break through that wall. It ends up revolving around answers to 2 questions –
1. What REALLY matters?
2. What does a successful day/week/period of time look like? What are 3-5 things I’d like to have done?
These questions pointed to a bunch of decisions this morning. Some things needed to be postponed while others needed to be moved up the priority list as they were the chief source of stress. That clarity was all I needed. And, it came from stepping out of the “zone” at a time when it felt like doing so went against all natural instinct.
I guess many of the best decisions we make tend to be counter-intuitive. That’s what makes life tough and interesting…