I Have No More Ideas
Everyone gets off track sometimes, even those of us who have the tools and resources to succeed in the way we want. I've gotten off track lately. Here's what I plan to do about it.
by Jamie Spannhake
October 31, 2020
It's time for me to write my weekly blog post and newsletter, and generate content for social media for the week.
And I'm feeling uninspired.
I usually have tons of ideas I want to share with you. I want you to enjoy your life and find the work-life integration you desire. I want to give you tools to craft a life that you truly want.
But I have no ideas.
Because I've been working too much. Long days of lawyering. Very little downtime. Not taking time to meditate each morning. Not much exercise. Not enough sleep. Not eating well, and not drinking enough water. *
* It also has something to do with politics and the state of our country and the election, but this is not my platform for politics, so I digress.
Why am I telling you this?
First, because I think it's good for everyone to know that we all get off track sometimes, even those of us who have the tools and resources to succeed in the way we want. When this happens, it gives us an opportunity to show ourselves self-compassion. It is a chance to re-evaluate, reset, and start anew. I could spend time thinking berating myself for not following my own advice, but that would only serve to further hinder my progress. Instead, I can evaluate where I started getting off track, notice how it progressed, and make a plan to get back on track.
Related content: The Benefits of Self-Compassion
Second, because it is a great example of how not being balanced makes us less of who we are. For the past two months, I've mostly been only a lawyer. Sure, I've played tennis several times and I've been going to a ninja warrior class with my daughter, but I've not been totally present in either of those activities. Even my time as a mom has been distracted as my mind is thinking about work. As the saying goes, "all work and no play makes Jane a dull person."
Right now, I'm feeling dull because I'm not balanced and I'm not doing much that feeds my soul. Ultimately, I can't be the best lawyer, mom, friend, or person when things are so unbalanced.
Most importantly, I am telling you this because I want to share with you what I do when I get off track like this. Here are my steps:
Downtime. I force myself to take some downtime. It might be only a hour or a half-day of "doing nothing," where my brain has time to relax. That was Saturday morning for me. I meditated alone, then joined my daughter and her friend in a game of Bananagrams. (It's a bit like Scramble, if you don't know the game.) There was no purpose to Bananagrams other than having some fun. And it was.
Related content: The Importance of Downtime
Plan. I write out my plan for the coming weeks where I schedule in all the things that are important to me. I don't necessary have room in my schedule to run 5 miles every day, but I do have 30 minutes for yoga at least once a week, time to run 2 miles twice a week on my treadmill or outside, and 5 minutes each morning for meditation. I also determine when I will go to bed, keep my phone, computer, and other devices out of my bedroom, and stick to my sleep schedule.
Organize. When it comes to eating healthy, getting organized is key. Having food in the house or a plan for where to buy meals is key to keeping on track. Otherwise, we make last-minute decisions when we are hungry, which usually means quick, processed foods that lack proper nutrition. I can also ensure my water bottle is filled and with me each day so I stay hydrated.
Commit. I can also commit to being present in the moments I spend with family and friends, rather than being distracted. One of the keys to NOT feeling overwhelmed is being present in the moment. We all have so many things we could be doing at any point in time, but when we spend our time thinking about the things we aren't doing, we feel overwhelmed AND we don't enjoy the thing that we are doing at that moment.
Ask for Help. I have a support network of friends that can help me when live is too busy. I can also look at my long list of to-do's and figure out which things someone else can do for me. Part of my plan going forward is to better utilize my support network and delegate more effectively. This could mean hiring a virtual assistant, delegating legal work, buying groceries online for delivery, hiring someone to assemble the IKEA bed I bought for my daughter months ago, and so on.
So that's my plan. Time to get back on track. Let me know how you get back on track, and reach out if I can help. I'd love to help you get on track to living the life you want!
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