Friday, February 5, 2010

Prioritizing Tasks and Obligations

Meandering thoughts have taken me through many aspects of life this morning and the way we humans live and react to what we are presented with.  I'm dealing with a heavy load of stress on several fronts.  Being the kind of person that I am, stress is toxic for me and it is not possible for me to shut down and walk away from the stressful things I've encountered.  So, I have no choice but to consider the true source of the stress.  I was so surprised to become very cognizant of the fact that my stress is not a result of external factors.  That is an illusion.  My stress is a result of my own resistance to what is going on and that resistance results from my own desire for perfection on certain fronts.

For me, I don't like to do anything half way.  But, when presented with a proverbial sea of deadlines that cannot be moved or delegated and with only so many hours in a day, you have no choice other than to get very efficient at prioritizing and allotting specified amounts of time to certain activities and then moving on to keep all things in motion to completion that must be kept in motion to completion.  However, you cannot be efficient nor can you be effective if you are reeling and overwhelmed by volumes of tasks.  Besides that, it just isn't healthy for anyone to feel stressed, be stressed or identified with stress because it changes your vibration and just brings you more of what you don't want.

So, the trick is to "accept" the volume and what you have to do.  Plan and organize your approach to tasks and follow your plan to a T.  Decide what is the most important and which of those important things demand the most of your time and care.  Also discern what really must be attacked in a given moment and consider where some tasks could use additional assistance and solicit that assistance.  If your volume is truly beyond your capacity, communication must occur with the receiver of the deliverables of your tasks (if a bill is going to be late, call...if a project is going to be delayed, get to the receiver of the end product and inform...if family chores cannot be completed, solicit familial assistance).

So, we can't solve all tasks at once.  You can only do one thing at a time so there is no sense in stressing about what you cannot get done.   That is a vibration that brings you more work.  You have to affirm yourself that you are capable and willing to get through what you must and you can do so in a relaxed and calm state of mind doing what you can do, not doing what you can't and soliciting assistance where that is necessary.  Setting our own expectations (or reducing them as the case may be) is the key to reducing our stress. 

The other night, after a stressful day I thought about my daughter's's a mess and I started to stress about that.  So, I asked myself, "In all the things that you must do and think about right now, where does worrying about that mess fall into the priority list?"  My immediate response was, "It is at the bottom of the list."  Then I stressed about upcoming bills that haven't yet been paid and I asked myself, "Of all the things you need to think about right now, is that really something you need to worry about?  In the priority list, where do those fall?"   My immediate response was, "I can tackle those this weekend."  Then, my thoughts were stressing me out about paying taxes and so I asked myself again, "Of all the things that you must think about right now, is that really at the top of the list or can you prioritize and get that done over the weekend?"  The answer was "yes" and I could put that thought down.  Now, to make sure I did not forget about all the things I thought about, I pulled out some 3x5 cards and wrote down the tasks (Thanks Ginger for this hot tip) and prioritized them in the order they must be tackled.  As soon as I did that, the stressful thoughts subsided and I was actually able to sleep.  I could put the stressful task-thoughts out of my head once I planned and prioritized them.  Later, I will pick up each card and carry out the tasks I identified and they will get done on time. :)

We all want to get the things done that we must.  However, it isn't necessary for us to think of those things all the time.  Create a plan for getting important things done and trust in your ability to respond to each thing or task you have prioritized as important.  Then, just jot them down and come back to them when you're ready to tackle them.  In the mean-time, there are some very important things you must do for you while taking on large volumes of tasks whether at home or work:

1.  What tasks are you doing that should be done by others?  (Delegate those tasks post haste).
2.  Are you eating healthy? (Eat healthy immediately to help alleviate potential stress on your body).
3.  Are you drinking too much? (Stop...again, to help alleviate potential stress on your body).
4.  Are you getting enough sleep? (If not, schedule 7-8 hours in every night).
5.  Are you getting any exercise? (If not, go take a 15 minute walk).
6.  Are you affirming yourself as a capable and successful individual? (If not, do it right now!)
7.  Are your thoughts in any way negative?  (YOU MUST CREATE MORE POSITIVE Thoughts so you can change your vibration and feel better immediately.  Don't tell yourself to "STOP thinking negative."  Instead tell yourself "REFOCUS ON THE POSITIVE").
8.  Are you making any time for inexpensive pleasurable things?  (If not, do that...draw, write, talk to friends, hug your family members, play with a pet, write a poem, read a book for a few minutes and give yourself this treat to help balance the "feel good" helps).
9.  Are you trying to be perfect?  (Stop, you are perfectly imperfect and it's okay to make mistakes and fail sometimes...that's how you learn).
10.  Are there mean, demanding and snappish people in your environment?  (If yes, know that their meanness, demanding and snappish behavior is NOT about no matter what, do not take it personally.  Your value is not dictated by the judgment of other people.   THIS is a fact you should remember and you don't have to get defensive or fight back.  Just reset your thoughts on this.  Realize how miserable someone who is mean, demanding and snappish is.  Truly...that's a fact.

So, stress can be managed fairly easily but you have to make yourself willing to entertain those thoughts and believe them and feel good about you.  Reward and acknowledge yourself for the things you are getting done and keep a positive attitude.  If you need to vent, find a friend and do it but just don't over-identify with the stressful behavior and work your thoughts quickly back to silver linings to create positive thoughts.

So, I've got a very busy day today but I am going to laugh and smile and do my best to accomplish only that which must be accomplished.  At the end of the day, I will reward myself for a job well done.  I hope you have a great day!

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