My life is getting in the way!
Ooh ee it’s been a tough couple of weeks for me. I know it looks like I have it all together on social media but there is something you should know…I find life hard work.
I know this sounds really dramatic but the constant monotony of life admin (slickly renamed ‘adulting’, a word I just can’t get away with saying) is really getting to me. Every time I eat, I create dishes to wash up. Every time I get dressed, I create laundry that must be done (and by done I mean separated into colours, washed in groups (according to said colours) and then hung to dry before I can even consider putting it all away in the draw). And let’s not even mention ‘odd socks’!
Every time I wake up, I create admin that must be done. And it’s non-stop.
Bills to pay.
Floors to mop.
Food cupboards to fill.
Dish washer to empty.
And no sooner do I step back to admire my newly cleaned kitchen than it’s time for supper and the whole thing starts again!
More recently, I’ve added a new trick to the ritual…I’ve now started to feel bad for being angry at these things. I should be grateful I have a floor to mop and food to cook and clothes to wash. And then I start to feel bad about feeling bad. I mean come on…points for ‘poor use of creativity’?
So, it’s safe to safe I have not been handling this ‘life’ thing well in June. In fact, I’ve been so overwhelmed by the constant admin of it that I’ve since dedicated my life to ‘getting back on top’; a goal that has of course proven impossible. But, I’ve still gone as far as convincing myself that everything must be neat and in order before I can do anything else. I mean how can I possibly reply to that email when I know there is pan in the sink to be washed.
Look, you don’t need to say it…I sound mad!
But I can’t be the only one? Tell me the admin of life gets to you sometimes too?
Well, me being me, I have to find the root course of this.
So I’ve been coming up with possible reasons for my unbalanced focus on life admin. Here is what I have so far…
A NEED TO BE IN CONTROL
I must be in control. And seeing as other parts of my life are out of control, keeping a tidy kitchen is something I can control. And therefore I take it a little too far.
I TURNED UP THE VOLUME
Maybe I’ve just brought this ‘life admin’ thing into focus and it’s all I can see. Maybe nothing has changed. Maybe we all have the same amount of life admin and I’ve just turned up the volume on mine, giving the impression it’s more overwhelming than it actually is.
I’M AVOIDING SOMETHING
There is something really important I must do. But, because I’m scared to tackle it, I’ve manufactured an insurmountable, constant and never ending source of distraction. LIFE ADMIN.
I’ve been doing too much, taking on too much, saying ‘yes’ to too much and I’m stressed. I’ve been at my ‘wits end’ and now can’t cope with the normal, every day routine of life admin. That one sock I can’t find has pushed me over the edge. It was the straw that broke the camel’s back.
That’s all I have so far. Have I missed any?
On Sunday, I lay on the couch exhausted from the thought of it all. That splash on the cupboard door to clean, the fact we need more washing up liquid from the shops, the petrol light is flashing again, there are yet more letters to open and I still haven’t replied to that message I got a week ago.
“I CAN’T COPE WITH THIS LIFE ADMIN ANY LONGER”, I said to Alice. I need a break!
She wasn’t quite sure if I was joking, until I threw a tea towel on the floor in revolt.*
After a cup of tea (which of course solves everything), a cherry scone (which created a right mess of sticky jam to clean up) and a good chat I admitted I was suffering from potent and somewhat alluring mix of ‘all of the above’.
Feeling slightly calmer from the realisation, I switched off for the night and caught up with Dexter (I’m now on Season 2).
This morning (Monday morning at the time of writing), I started my day a little differently. Instead of creating my list of life admin – making breakfast only to clean it up again and tackling the first emails of the day – I rolled out my workout matt, threw on my sports kit, picked up my vlog camera and prioritised MYSELF. On a Monday morning, can you imagine!!
Sat at my desk a few hours later I asked myself a question: “What has been going on, Lisa?”. And it must have been the right question because, to my surprise, I got an answer!
“You’re prioritising the wrong things”, came the answer in my head.
“If you always do the kitchen first, you’ll never have the energy to build that new course. And if you never build that new course, you will never realise the next part of your vision.”
It’s simple, I know, but it was quite the revelation for me. It felt like the tangled ball of string in my head relaxed a little bit and I could think just a little more clearly.
You see we all have the same number of hours in the day. And how we use them isn’t a matter of time management: it’s a matter of PRIORITIES. People who hit their goals, who build their dream lives, who live a happy and fulfilled life are the people who prioritise life changing actions and not life admin actions.
You see each moment is a trade off:
Life changing action or life maintaining action?
Revenue generating action or ‘maintaining the status quo’ action?
Fun packed, living in the moment, action or boring regular ‘life admin’ action?
And so, with each new life task this week, I’ve been asking myself:
“Will this action change my life, yes or no?”
“Will this action bring me closer to my financial goals, yes or no?”
“Will this action make me smile and laugh, yes or no?
I keep going through the items on my list until I find the task that I have been avoiding: the one that will change my life, bring me closer to my financial goals and make me smile along the way. And I start with that one.
As it turns out, it’s filming a new online course I’ve had on my mind for a while: How to make your first vlog series using iMovie. And this week, I began the filming. Yes, oh yes!!
Once I’m done with the ‘life changing’ action, I go back and do ‘life admin’. I’ve decided it can wait. I’d rather live my dreams with bowls in the sink (cut off is 11am, just to be clear on that one, ahem) than have all the bowls in the cupboard, stored nicely…along side my dreams.
So I guess what I’m saying is we all struggle with ‘life admin’. It’s a never ending, life draining list of tasks that, if not ‘put in their place’ run the risk of taking over our lives. And we all also have a choice…give our time to the life changing action, or let it be drained by the life maintain actions.
What will you choose today?
*Of course I picked it straight back up and put it in the basket. It’s lime green so I’ll have to wait until I get enough ‘bright light’ colours to wash it again. Damn it.