Recently, we talked about how the concept of putting yourself first is so much more than a fad. When personal responsibilities, work responsibilities and everything in between all seems to come at the same time (which they always do) -- being able to protect your mind is critical.
Here are 5 mindset shifts to stop you from getting overwhelmed in the busyness of life.:
1. Ask for what you want (or need)
Many of the demands that we struggle with can sometimes be demands set by everyone but ourselves. Rarely do we take a moment to step back and ask ourselves whether what we’re committing to, or and whether it aligns with our priorities. Being able to prioritize helps you to separate what’s really important from the white noise.
2. Question everything
For years I’d happily and willingly commit to various things -- naively thinking to myself “sure, I can complete this within a week” until that list of things got unbearably long. That’s when I realized that I didn’t actually need to hold myself to so many standards all at once.
I began to assess all the moving parts of my life with these key questions:
-- Does this need to be completed by [date]?
-- Is there a quicker, or more efficient way I can complete this? (Low effort, high impact)
-- Does this really need to be done at all? Is it absolutely essential?
Ask better questions, get better answers -- or in this case, better outcomes. By questioning everything multiple times I was able to fulfill my most pressing responsibilities more quickly, and eliminate the tasks that were ‘nice to have’ but not ‘do or die’.
3. There’s always safety in numbers
Our world loves to spotlight people’s personal and professional achievements as if they achieved them alone. That is rarely the case -- every great athlete had a coach, every great business person had a team, every great relationship and family thrives from the commitment from multiple parties.
You don’t have to do life alone. Friends, family and people within your community are not just for sharing life’s highs and passing the time. They can also help share life’s load, trade ideas and pool resources. We all have different perspectives, and when they come together, we can cover each other's blind spots.
4. Understand the concept of “that will do”
Some months ago I went for lunch with an amazing woman who was juggling more responsibilities than I had ever seen. We were getting to know each other, and I was explaining all the different ventures and projects I am involved with. She loved it, but she also gave me a word of advice that change my life “sometimes you’ve just got to say ‘that will do’”.
When you’re a born perfectionist, there’s a tendency to have every single one of your ducks in a row. And that’s a good thing... until the law of diminishing returns kicks in. That’s the point where any additional improvements, effort or perfectionism doesn’t actually add any value. So in short, know when to stop, and learn to be okay with that.
5. Accept yourself, your journey and your story.
This is a point that gets frequently overlooked. In life many of us are told to ‘get over’ situations that overwhelm us because ‘everyone struggles’ or ‘someone else has to worse off’. True. But this is no reason not to acknowledge the current challenges you face. When you deny your struggles for too long, they get suppressed and eventually they manifest various ways including: more stress, lashing out, failure, anxiety or low moods than you could have expected.
How do you protect yourself and your mind from the madness of life?