It’s the end of the week, and you’re absolutely exhausted. Feeling mentally drained, you can’t identify anything that you accomplished of real, lasting value. Week after week, you’re caught up in the same routine. Driven by habit, you’re going through life on autopilot. While busyness fills up the day, it doesn’t necessarily equate to productivity.
Maybe you catch yourself thinking, Life has to be more than this. What’s the purpose? Get up, go to work, finish chores, pay bills and go to bed, only to start again tomorrow. Over and over, the cycle continues.
Perhaps you sit down to read when out of nowhere you’re bombarded with a million thoughts. You name it, it’s going through your mind; laundry, dishes, cleaning, bills to pay, calls to make. Your mind races thinking about everything but the task at hand.
Busyness has become a way of life. The thought is that more activity leads to success. The misconception is that worth is measured by doing. The lie is that worry leads to some semblance of control in life.
Filling up the day with activity just to stay busy may give you the satisfaction of checking tasks off your list. While there are things you have to do, there’s a difference between responsibility and busyness. You’re not called to live a life of busyness, nor are you supposed to neglect responsibility. Being responsible, while leaving time for entertainment, results in a balanced, fulfilling life.
If trapped in a daily routine, it may be hard to concentrate on work while at work and home while at home. When distracted, it’s impossible to hear over your own thoughts or even hear yourself think.
Even so, not all distraction is negative. In fact, a bit of diversion to relieve daily stress is both positive and necessary. It serves as mental rest from the day’s worries. You may catch yourself thinking, I just want to get distracted. If so, you’re not alone. It’s vital to give yourself a break. Watch a movie, take a walk, exercise or go to the beach. Just do something to let your mind rest.
Distraction is negative if it controls and consumes you. You may notice yourself saying, “I have so much to do, and it’s hard to concentrate.” If unable to focus, it may be challenging to finish tasks. In fact, It may be difficult to even start.
At the start of the new year, take an assessment of your progress. Looking back on the previous year may leave you feeling frustrated or proud. Whether you accomplished everything you set out to achieve or very little, not to worry. Today is a new day.
Step into the year with confidence, and keep these key points in mind.
1. Set clear goals.
2. Rank goals by priority.
3. Start with your top ranking goals and work through the list one by one.
3. Commit to small, achievable steps.
4. Don’t wait to fit steps into an already busy schedule. Block off the time.
5. Make time for yourself and to do what you enjoy on a daily basis.
If ready to go from balance to breakthrough, your mindset is a great place to start. One step may seem insignificant today. Many small steps have the power to change tomorrow. You can’t do all at once, but you can still do something. Focus on what you can do today.
Julie Barbera, author of the forthcoming book, Cracked Mirror, Clear Reflection
“Treasures Are Right Before Our Eyes, yet Many Miss Gems Searching for Pearls at the Bottom of the Sea.”