Have you ever felt like I had a thousand things to do?
And although it was more like 50 things it might as well have been a thousand. That happened to me last weekend. I had scheduled some time Saturday morning to move the needle on some big projects and had the detailed list all set out. Now, I am a list lover and pride myself on being able to get quite a bit done in a short period of time. Here is what I discovered about “listing”
…it may not be good for your health!
What I found was that as I built my list (actually from a number of other lists that had been made at various times throughout the week) I started to feel overwhelmed by the enormity of it all. I seemed to have forgotten the most important part about making lists, is that they are meant to be doable!
I realize now that I overestimated my energy level between 6am and noon on a Saturday (after a few Friday night shenanigans) and although I had high hopes, my expectations were not realistic. What ended up happening, is that instead of leisurely moving through my tasks in a kid-free home, comforted by hot bevvie and a delicious breakfast, I slugged back cold bitter tea, forgot to eat and snapped at my husband.
The ick of which spread through me and led to an hour of unproductive, anxiety filled, paper-shuffling.
As the hour passed I had the good sense to step away from the table and go outside. There I was reminded of something very important…
Stop worrying about what did not get done and focus on what did.
Similar to practicing an attitude of gratitude, I believe that we need to practice the art of acknowledging accomplishments to get unstuck. I got 2 out of 50 things done, they weren’t the biggest items on the list, they were however the first 2, priorities.
To fully acknowledge the value of what I accomplished, and douse my initial desire to focus on what I didn’t get done, I am stating out-loud, right here, that:
EVERYTHING IS ALWAYS WORKING OUT FOR ME. THE THINGS I GET DONE ARE GETTING ME CLOSER TO WHAT I WANT. WHEN I CHOOSE TO FOCUS MY ENERGY AND ATTENTION ON LIFTING MYSELF UP, I CREATE MORE MOMENTUM TO MOVE FORWARD.
So in the spirit of acknowledging accomplishments and the value that comes from every step we take in the direction of what we want, I have created a list (for my fellow list-lovers) of my favourite mindset hacks to do when you begin to get overwhelmed.
10 Mindset Hacks to Get Unstuck!
Doing any one of these things will help you to feel accomplished and propel you forward, even when the sh*t-storm of anxiety is knocking at the door…actually they work even better when the sh*t-storm is coming!
My recommendation is to focus on doing one, any one that speaks to you. This is not a must do list, it is a can do list. If you find one you especially like… hit repeat! They are in no particular order, because the beauty of these hacks is that they work independently of each other and fabulously together.
Let me be super-duper clear here…
These mindset hacks are not to be confused with procrastination…you may have scrolled down and thought for a second, that stepping away from your to-do list to do any of these “purposeless” things would distract you from what “needs to get done”.
The opposite is true!
These mindset hacks help you to:
- Refocus your attention.
- Carve out time to set your intentions and allow the energy of what you desire to locate you.
- Get the clarity you desire and energy you need to get more done.
“When you spend more time focusing on what you do want you spend less time dealing with what you don’t.”
(please take this quote and plaster it all over your world…remember it!)
1 – Take a Walk or a Run
Go outside, walk around the block, run around your neighborhood and listen to the sounds around you. Focus on the skill of letting go. Sounds will come and sounds will go, as will your thoughts. Practice letting them come and letting them go. Allow your mind to wander and bring you where you need to be.
2 – Set your Intention for the day
This can be done in a number of ways, you can write it down in your journal or even on a piece of scrap paper. You can text it to your friend or accountability partner or even post it on social media. Wherever you choose to set your intention give that moment all of your attention. Think it, repeat it, believe it, achieve it.
3 – Create or Add to your Vision Board
Vision Boards are a great way to activate the parts of your brain that help you to make the infinite number of decisions you make throughout the day. When you put your dreams out there for your Self to see, your brain gets activated to do whatever it takes to make them your reality. Ultimately as you go throughout your day making small, often negligible decisions, your mind, that has been set to task, will always decide in favor of your vision. In those split seconds it determines what is more likely to get you closer to where you need to be. Tricky part here is we are not often aware this is happening and in the moment don’t always see the bigger picture. Trust that your unconscious mind (which is way smarter than you know…has got your back!)
4 – Practice Gratitude
This can be done in so many ways. My favorite is through my morning journaling. By acknowledging and being grateful for what I already have, I invite more joy into my life. Energetically when we believe in and are grateful for our relationships, for our work, for our homes and for our health, we invite more of the same. Individuals looking for quality relationships will seek us out, work built on integrity will make its way to our desks, love and generosity will abound in our homes and the environment of positive energy that we create will help us to maintain a healthy lifestyle and build up our immunity. When we feel grateful the negative thoughts that often plague us, will have a very hard time getting in past the glow of gratitude!
5 – Choose to Read
There are plenty of ways to read nowadays. You could go old school and get a book, you could go new school and hook yourself up with an audio book. It doesn’t matter how you do it, the key is to take in new information and allow it be permeate through you. We cannot (without some form of brain damage) unlearn and as a result we are forever changed by the information we take in. My suggestion is to digest wisely. (Seeing as we are bombarded with thousands of bits of information a day, that we do not choose.) By consciously selecting information to ingest with the intent to be forever changed, we can positively impact every facet of our lives.
6 – Watch, Listen, Learn
In the same vein as reading, being selective about the media we ingest is just as important as the words we take in (maybe even more so). I choose to offset the mass amounts of visual media by fueling my eyes and ears with snippets I know will impact the way I think in a way that is congruent with ME and my values. TED Talks and podcasts are my go to when I want to “zone out” and just allow information to wash over me. They are forms of entertainment that fill me up. After engaging I feel “more than” not “less than” I was before. Again the most crucial part is the conscious decision to ingest information, acknowledging the lasting impact.
7 – Meditate
I’m not talking sit on a mountain top, crossed legged and zoning out for days (although feel free if that is your jam!). It can be as simple as sitting still, closing your eyes and repeating the words Breathe In, Breathe Out for 1 minute. Meditation can be more rejuvenating than sleep and with increased practice it can become and integral part of your self – care. By giving ourselves time to mediate, instead of powering through 24 ounces of coffee every afternoon, we can become more productive than ever before!
8 – Avoid all distractions for 1 hour
I mean like all of them. Turn off your devices, power-down all the technology, speak with your family and let them know you are taking 60 consecutive minutes of uninterrupted time. If this is new to you and family (which for my fellow ladies out there who are very used to making themselves available to everyone every minute of the f’n day) you may need to work up to 60 minutes…be gentle with yourself (and them) you all deserve it. During your 60 minutes practice a level of stillness or relaxation that you know (or hope) will bring you joy. A bath, a nap, making art (my fav!), reading, writing, meditating…something you can joyfully commit to for 60 whole minutes!
9 – Commit to 15 minutes of your biggest task
Too often we get overwhelmed by the enormity of some of our tasks (that can’t be just me!) and as a result we sometimes give up before we even start. If you sense this happening, remind yourself of this little tip. Only commit to 15 minutes. If after 15 minutes you decide you no longer want to focus on that task great, put it away. Fifteen minutes of focus is better than zero minutes. You may however decide to keep going and to help keep your anxiety at bay, only commit to another 15 minutes. I know you can do 15 minutes!
10 – Seek out your Believing Mirror.
Believing Mirrors are the beautiful people in our lives that can see our value even when we can’t. They may or may not be close friends or family. Often they are simply genuinely authentic people who sense our inner most authentic selves. They instinctively know when some thought we have or action engage in is not congruent with who we truly are. When we speak with them we feel energized, heard and valued. We know they see things we forget to see in ourselves and they remind us of who we are meant to be. Being with our believing mirrors can be more invigorating than anything else on this list! For this reason I often suggest scheduling free time on your calendar for right after being with your believing mirror, because you just might feel compelled to do some amazing shit!
Join the 100 Women On Fire Facebook Group…I will be there to cheer you on!