If, however, you’re feeling adrift, keep reading…
In the May issue of Org4life News I wrote:
We are all weathering the same storm, but our boats range from yachts to dinghies. Some of us may be shipwrecked, and others caught in an eddy. I hope your boat is weathering the storm and you aren’t too seasick!
A brief exchange with a reader led to an extension of this nautical analogy:
Reader: You’re right! It started off making me kind of seasick. But I’ve got my engine running now and navigating pretty well.
Me: Glad to hear it! Yes, there’s the storm and the variety of boats to consider, but also the crew, the mode of propelling the craft, the navigational tools at hand, etc. My boat is seaworthy, but my sail has been luffing. Time to trim it!
Normally, when life throws me a curveball, getting back on track is a simple matter of resuming the habits, routines, and schedules that were working for me before, ala this post: Getting Back on Track
But things have changed a lot lately. And for most of us, it’s not even a matter of adjusting to a “new normal” because the changes seem endless. We don’t know when we can expect to return to normal, or what normal is going to be, or even what we want it to be. As my friend and colleague Julie Bestry wrote in her recent post, The Now Normal: When the New Normal Changes Quickly: The old rules feel like they don’t apply.
I’ve been feeling adrift
In my recent post — Are you wasting your “free time”? — I confessed to vacillating lately between being unproductive and feeling bad about it, and being unproductive and not feeling bad about it. LOL? I also wrote: If you haven’t been very productive lately, give yourself a break! Things are hard right now.
So, I’m not expecting super-productivity of myself (and trying hard not to compare myself to friends and colleagues who have been super-productive lately), but I do need a little more structure in my life than I’ve had. A little structure goes a long way.
I’ve written a gazillion posts about Time Management (which I have finally collected into a Time Management Resource Roundup for you). And I use tools with clients that I’ve never written about, to help them spend less time doing what they have to do, and more time doing what they want to do.
How am I going to trim my sails?
I think what I need, for now, is to return to my simple patented Chinese Menu Time Management Technique. My “major life categories” haven’t changed. They are still Home, Work, Self, and Others, (Or, if I wanted to rearrange and make an acronym out of it, SHOW. I could make it a thing – SHOW me your goals and priorities! – but your life is different from mine, and my job isn’t to impose my priorities on you, it’s to help you think through what is important to YOU.) Each of these categories has its own To-Do list from which to choose the next best thing to do. What has changed is that a lot of the goals and associated tasks seem unimportant now. And that’s OK.
So, my new Ideal Schedule will be more of a simplified checklist. For now, I will do one task from each category per day. If I have the time and energy for more, great! If that’s all I do, though, it’s more than I’ve been doing. It’s progress. And it doesn’t take a lot of progress to make me happy. After all, progress equals happiness!
What if it’s more than “feeling adrift”?
Before I leave, I must acknowledge that “feeling adrift” can also be a sign of clinical depression. I think MOST of us are situationally depressed right now. But if it’s worse than that for you, please get yourself some help. There are a few mental health resources in the Survive and Thrive Resource Roundup that you might find useful. You are not alone!
Where is YOUR boat headed? How is YOUR crew holding up?
Please share with us in the comments below!
Copyright 2020 by Hazel Thornton, Organized for Life.
I welcome social media links directly to this page!
Please contact me for other types of reprint permission.