When I can’t do ‘everything’ I often get the feeling I have done ‘nothing’. Do you relate?
Take it today, for example. I was out of my flat for a week because it was flooded – luckily I travelled during the weekend (Disneyland! Yay! Soon loads of pics!) – and, as soon as I was able to came back, I was totally overwhelmed by the things I left behind while dealing with the flooding mess. Here I am today: sitting at my table/desk with a to-do list so long I want to cry and the feeling ‘I’m never going to make it’. Well, I know I will. And I know everyone struggles keeping up with work, home, kids (if you have), time out and me-time. It is like juggling non-stop a crazy amount of things. Do you feel the pressure? Me too. That’s why I put down some rules I wish I could follow. I say ‘I wish I could’ because most of the time I can’t, but I am doing my best.
1. Don’t even try to do ‘everything’
The perfect woman – a devoted mum, a hard worker, a kitchen Goddess, runs 10 km in forty minutes and has hair and nails always done – just does not exists. If she does, I don’t want to meet her. We live under the crazy pressure of social media, where everyone shares the best bits of their lives. Plus, we are constantly bombed by informations and tips about how we should live, how we should work/train/behave, even about how we should love. Every morning on my Facebook stream I find that yogi girl who can scratch her neck with her big toes, the guy who just spoke at the Science Festival, that girl who lost 30 pounds in two months and a whole loads of articles that sound like ’10 things you should do for your children’, ‘why meditate one hour a day will change your brain’, ’30 things to do before 30′ (missed half). I just want to QUIT wishing to do everything. It is not healthy. It is pushing to much and therefore making us 100% unsatisfied with ourselves. This is the picture: if my house is tidy my work is a mess, if my work does great my house is a mess and if everything’s ok I forgot my daughter at school.
2. Ask for help
When I was in Italy I underestimated the power of having grannies and sisters ready to help me with Viola. Now I am alone taking care of her and my working day ends at 3 when I pick her up from school. Many times I ask friends for help, they take Viola, I take their kids the following week. I started asking for help and I plan to do it with this blog as well. Not only I can’t do everything, but I shouldn’t. For some things, other people are way better than me. I am trying to detach myself from the idea of ‘I can do everything all by myself’ and start to ask for help. Just try. It will change your life.
3. Slow down
In my ideal world I work full time, play with Viola, workout everyday, read a book each month, cook marvellously, go out a lot, leave every weekend for a different destination. The truth is, I’m lucky if I do a 30% of this. Sometimes I am so tired by 9 pm that all I can think about is ‘give me a bed’. My side abs will probably see the light in 2018, still I slowly but steadily try to keep up with most of the things. I plan a slower pace, smaller goals. I just try to avoid giving up on things I really want to do, because one year from now I don’t want to be regretful. The secret is probably being more ‘human’ about what I can achieve and how long will it take. (No, of course I am not succeding in doing this, I’m just trying… I’d still love to do everything and – even worse – I think all the other people can!).
4. Tidy up
Do you see this pic? Well, my desk never looks like that (it was a lucky snap, the mess was all on the other side). The reason is because it is not my work desk, it is my lunch table and the biggest surface of the house, where everything eventually lands. I am the most messy person in the world, but I am finding out that I am more productive, happy and relaxed if I tidy up. ‘A place for everything and everything in its place’ should be a mantra for everyone who’s working from home, or wants to start being more organized.
(and one last thing) …pat your back.
You are doing your best, and even if you aren’t, you are trying a way to do it – you know. Don’t judge yourself too severely. Don’t measure your value upon what you still haven’t achieved or upon what you still haven’t done. List what you have reached instead, and pat your back. You deserve it!