Overwhelm is a Thing

When I started this journey, I promised I would keep it honest.  I told you I would teach you everything I learned.  I decided I wanted to document this journey as it happened.  Today, I noticed I hit a wall.  It is called overwhelm and overwhelm is a thing.

It starts slowly.  You start doubting one or two decisions you make.  You procrastinate.  Life gets in the way and before you know it, your desk is full of mail, your brain is in a fog and you have not done one income producing activity.

This is where businesses fail.  We are all so excited to break out on our own and get something we can call our own.  We get into the little things, like whether my desk is facing the door or am I getting enough sunlight.  You order your business cards and when you get them you don’t feel as excited about the tagline as you were when you conceived it.

Wake up.  It is not about you.  Ironically, the most self obsessed thing you have ever done (going into business by yourself), if done correctly, is the most giving thing you can ever do.  You went into business to solve a problem for other people, not for yourself.  Stop for a minute, take a breath and figure out where you are.

As always, I will use myself as an example.  I ordered the business cards.  I started a campaign… I ordered a magnet for my car.  I came up with a pretty tagline.  I started a campaign on Fiverrr to get my logo designed.  Then I realized that I am the person who runs all the bills in the house, I am the POA for someone else and I have all these other things that I need to do.  As I am writing this, I have so many things on my desk I am shocked that I can write this without straining my arms too much.  There’s even a bunny from Easter staring at me at this moment, wondering where he went wrong (stuffed toy not breathing real one).

So now what?  There are several things I can tell you to do because it is usually easier to help other people than to figure things out for ourselves.  Instead, I am going to tell you what I am going to do.

I am taking the day off from social media for the most part.  I do have to film a video and I am going to post this blog.  I am also going to post the link on social media.  Once I do that now, I am going to close the door to my office and move to the living room, where I will proceed to get a legal pad and do a massive brain dump.  I plan to write down all the courses I invested in, all the social media platforms, all the topics I want to write about, the essays for the book and the other things I have to take care off this week, whether they are business related or not.

I am going to take my happy planner and organize my week so I can get everything done without killing myself.  Then, I am going to start removing things from my desk and I am going to finish organizing my office.

I know that you are thinking that I am not making any income producing activities and you would be correct.  Here’s the thing.  If I take one day to take care of all of this then I don’t have to spend hours in between and feel like I am not getting anything done.  Besides, chances are that if I finish before gym at 6:30 PM, I might be able to post a couple of items for sale or do a presentation,

How do you deal with overwhelm?  Any suggestions you may have, leave them in the comments section below.

PS. Although it is the same topic, I don’t do a verbatim on the video. You can check it out below.

Day 135: Spring Cleaning My Life

I had an interesting incident recently that inspired me this morning.  I read an article online about spring cleaning your social media.  The gentleman was talking about cleaning your profiles, revamping your descriptions, changing your images and getting rid of those who never comment, never post anything or are always negative.  The idea is that you get rid of the old to make space for the new.

I am adapting this idea to spring cleaning my life.  There are so many projects that are half-baked in my life.  I think making space for that is leaving me no space for the goodies ahead.  So today, I start this process, because the good thing about a resolution is that you can create it and start it whenever you want.

My first order of business is to move away from the victims.  I don’t mean the person that has the occasional break down, we all have those.  I’m talking about the whiners.  Have you ever noticed those in your life?   They are not nice people and they can’t hide it.  Eventually, their mean streak comes out.  They are those people in your life that never have something good to share.  They complain about their lives, they cannot be happy for you and they attack you when you least expect them to.  Delete them.

The second thing is those projects you have around your home and office.  Take a good look at each and every single one of them.  If you think you can get the project going in the next week, keep it.  If you think it would be fun for later, get rid of it.  If you decide to go back to it later, then you will come up with better options then.

The third step is your bills.  Figure out exactly what and who you owe money to.  This is not only your credit cards.  This include any medical bills, house bills, car bills, everything that can be a money drain.  Start from the highest APR or the lowest amount, do what works for you.  Make a list and a plan to pay them off and get going on it.

The last one is going to be you.  This one is the most challenging and fun of all.  What do you like about yourself?  What do you want to keep?  What kind of things do you do that you can either do without or work to improve?  Get to work.

For me, I am starting with the millions of emails and mailing lists I belong to.  I don’t need half of them.  I am deleting those.  Then I will work on some projects and if I cannot move them forward between today and tomorrow, I will get rid of them.

It so happens I already started the list of bills.  I’m only missing the medical bills and I will have a great picture of what to work on.  The last item is what I want to work on myself.  I have this bad habit of not trusting my first instinct.  I don’t believe in first impressions.  I do believe in something that is more of a vibe.  Has this ever happened to you?  You meet a person, you don’t know if you should like them or not.  They do not have your principles or morals.  You decide to give them the benefit of the doubt, even though there is something fishy about them.  They do something to you.  There is your proof.  Then you spend a while trying to figure out why you did not trust your gut from the beginning.

The other thing I need to change is to go back to being fun-loving, care free and not taking life so seriously.  This one is going to take a lot more effort.

So what are you working on to spring clean your life?  Leave a comment below and don’t forget to share.

Day 79 – Define Your Why

Now this might be an interesting way to look at your need for organization.  One thing I have learned in 40 years is that every goal you ever had starts with a very simple question:  why?  You must define your why in order to start.

In my personal case, I thought organizing my apartment was about getting a hold on my clutter.  It seemed like a logical reason.  When I moved to Florida I had a suitcase full of clothes.  Eventually we had air mattresses, a couple of tables and a TV.  The most important thing we brought was our cell phones and my daughter’s mini laptop.  Logically, as we brought more things and purchased more things, the apartment got crowded.  And then, three years in, I went to Puerto Rico and got half of my stuff in boxes to Florida.

I have given away, thrown away and sold many things.  There was no rhyme or reason to my efforts.  There are many goals and dreams I want to accomplish, and all the other ones have a why.  It dawned on me recently that I had not defined my why to the point where it was working for me.

There are two things that are really important to me right now:  my health and my sanity.  Both of them have been compromised in recent months.  My health has had some major hurdles and as a consequence, my sanity has hit some snags as well.  I am having trouble concentrating and remembering things, which is not good when you work in a highly regulated field where everything you do is verified for accuracy.

After supposedly recovering from surgery, I find myself at home again, recovering for what may be a side effect of medication or a warning from my body that I have not healed yet.  Either way, I am home indefinitely.  I noticed that as I clear areas of the house, my family members are getting on the bandwagon and whatever area I clean, they keep that way.  I also noticed that the hardest area to deal with is my bedroom.  And so last night, I started thinking about my why.

I know why I accumulate stuff:  it gives me comfort from the inner demons that I have been able to discover one by one.  The bullies of my youth have become the bullies in my head and little by little, I am working through those in an effort to improve my life and that of all other women that feel like me.  The main bully is inadequacy.  Women tend to feel like they are not good enough for some reason.  In my case, I have always been smart.  I grew up in an era where women were beginning to discover their brains.  I guess the message is not sinking in yet that it is OK to be smart.  I don’t feel like I deserve many things because I am a woman.  Although in my head I believe this is nonsense, somewhere in my heart I still carry some of that feeling that I am less than.  The other bully is the one about beauty.  I used to be beautiful when I was young and I never admitted that to myself for two reasons:  vanity is not a good thing and if I am so beautiful, why do I have so many bullies calling me “witch”.  Witches are not pretty.  So there are my two biggest demons out in the open.  And my stuff, which is usually books, is a comfort from both of those demons.

The why I can’t get organized is a little trickier.  It is not about having stuff.  I can always buy organizing units and put it all away neatly.  I believe that it is time to let go of some of my comforts.  My health demands it.  In this process that I am right now, getting rid of things, including comfort food and belongings, is like a death.  I’ve had too many deaths in my life.  I’m just not sure I want to deal with another one.  And so, I hold on to my stuff and to my clutter, because if I don’t get rid of it all, I am not killing my comfort.

So I ask you: what is your why?  Do you know why you can’t get rid of the cigarettes, the overspending, the food addiction?  Whatever your demon is hides a good reason that you must deal with in order to get rid of your misbehavior.  Share with us what that is on the comments section below.  If you like this message, share it with a friend and help her figure out what her demon is as well.  Thanks.