Adulting can suck balls. Some of us are naturally on the disorganised-side and most of us have periods where we let things slide and it all ends up in an overwhelming tangle. Some days we really can’t just hide in bed all day, we need to get shit done, but there are ways to try and make it easier on ourselves. Here’s my go-to action plan for managing those days where my motivation levels are zero and my brain is an anxious foggy mess!
1. Write some lists:
Write down allll the stuff that your brain is going “and you need to do this, and this, oh and this … annd this too”, even if these are things that are not going to be done today, just get it all out of your brain and on a list. Then split this list up in to three sections. The first list is stuff that ‘must’ be done today, the second list is stuff that ‘would be better if it did get done today’ and the third list is for ‘things that do need to be done but can totally wait’. I’m sure you can come up with some snappier titles though…
Hopefully after the listing has been done your brain can just focus on the important things and not worry about forgetting the other stuff since it’s been bookmarked for later.
2. Find some cheerleaders.
Do you work better with some accountability? Do you have something to do that you’ve been putting off for ages because it’s kinda scary? (I hate phoning people, if I can’t sort it by email then it can get neglected!) Having a buddy or some cheerleaders can totally help. If it’s tidying that needs doing you could send a ‘before’ picture to a friend and then later rejoice with them when you have the awesome ‘after’ picture. If you have to go somewhere new for the first time and are worried then find a buddy to go with you or someone to meet you afterwards so you can debrief. Friends can also help nudge us later in the day if we’ve still not got round to the thing we said needed doing!
3. Set up some breaks and rewards:
Done three things on your list? Great, have a cuppa and a biscuit, call a friend for a chat, sit in the sunshine in the garden for 10 minutes, whatever will lift your spirits and recharge your energy. I’m often motivated by dangling the promise of a mocha in front of me.
4. Break stuff down:
If one of your tasks is large and overwhelming then break it down in to steps. Ticking off each step on your list will show you that you have actually done something about it and that you are making progress. This will be better for your motivation levels and help to lessen the overwhelm. You could also try setting a timer and doing just a bit of a task – it might be easier to get going if you know that you only have to do 15 minutes before you can stop! You might even be surprised by how much you get done in that time.
5: Try to help future-you:
If you have any spare energy at the end of your tasks try to think how you could help future-you. Would meal planning and buying your shopping online mean less trips to the shops? Would setting up direct debits mean bills get paid without you having to remember them? Would a weekly planner help you to divide tasks up between different days so they don’t all pile up? Would getting rid of some clutter to charity shops/ebaying some stuff mean that there is less to tidy and clean? Are there any tasks that could be delegated easily to others? Do you keep taking on more things than you can manage? Sometimes we have to learn to say no! Also if you happen to have a womb it is likely that you have different energy levels at different times of the month, if you track when your energy levels ebb and flow then you can help yourself by planning accordingly. Same goes for times of day, if you are not a morning person then don’t take on extra morning-related tasks if possible!
Remember to treat yourself kindly, even if you don’t smash your list, hopefully you at least got something done! Learning to manage our goals and expectations is important for our happiness levels and you are at least trying – and remember that nobody has ALL of their shit together!