Overwhelm and the Guilt Trip
I am absolutely the world's worst at slowing down, taking time for myself, and practicing what I preach every single day - SELF CARE.
Part of it comes with the territory of being an entrepreneur, or a student, much less both. But part of it is bad habits, anxiety, and insatiable people-pleasing tendencies. I mean, if I don't respond to that email within 10 seconds, or that text, or that phone call... if I don't drop everything to help an acquaintance, or obligatorily give up my time and space for a colleague... if I don't spend even more hours helping someone else with their business goals... well the world just might end! (Or, worse, I might be a bad person.)
It got worse when I started employing individuals. When it was just me, if things didn't get done, I was just screwing myself over. I could live with that. But now there are people who count on me to have my shit together! I've never had my shit together a single day of my life. I've got a lot of people fooled, but that's the truth.
But all is not lost. I'm getting real with myself. I'm not putting up with my nonsense excuses and self-pity any longer. For the past few weeks I've been making lists (more lists... I have apx. 973 lists at any given time), and sticking to them. I'm giving myself 3-6 VITAL tasks that must must must get done each day (not counting seeing clients, going to meetings, doing homework... the general day-to-day work/school stuff), and once I have accomplished those, I am allowed to rest. I can continue working - and I usually do - but it's my own personal "finish line" that allows me to, guilt free, go enjoy the sunshine, go for a hike, or read a book JUST FOR FUN (a truly novel concept - pun absolutely intended). Whatever I want, without anxiety. It's beautiful.
Since I have been following this plan, I've gone on many hikes with friends I rarely see, spent time reading a book I enjoy (that's well over-due from the library - sorry guys!), and I've started this blog. And, funny story... I've been ridiculously more productive! My VITAL list, paired with setting alarms for how much time I am allowed to spend on a project, or a break, not only allows me to do things that I actually enjoy and that are good for me, but gives me the freedom to truly kick ass at my job. It's kind of amazing.