Thursday, January 9, 2014

A Contained Life

My life contains a lot of projects right now. I'm working on projects for school, putting together proposals for possible consulting jobs, planning upcoming workshops and simply trying to figure out what I'm cooking for dinner tomorrow night. Often times this spills over into other areas such as whether or not I will have time to take my son to a movie or play with him before bedtime. And taking care of myself falls by the wayside amidst all of these projects.

Like a lot of you, I've often taken on more than I can manage, professionally and personally by offering to help this person with their job search or that person learn social media or that group promote their cause.

And the results of my efforts?

I'm tired. And cranky. And sleepy. And frustrated that not getting a damn thing done in the way or to the extent I want to get it done.

Lately, however, I've been making a conscious effort to assign a value to almost everything I do. For example, would taking on another volunteer project enhance my resume or skill set or would it simply be another added responsibility keeping me from doing what matters most right now? On a scale of one to five, with five being the highest and of most value, taking on another volunteer project would rank a one. 

So, I've decided to put all of these projects, these life projects I'll call them, in containers. A container for my son. A container for my personal life and self-care. A container for work (my day job). A container for school. A container for my business. A container for volunteer work. And a container for quite simply, fun.

Each of the items in these containers will be carefully reviewed and selected to ensure they are necessary and of high value. I will water and feed each container taking careful consideration of its potential and ability to give back to my common good. If a container starts becoming overgrown, I will weed out the unnecessary growth and trim back in other areas.

In some areas of my life, Spring is just around the corner. I can't wait to see new growth and opportunity as I rake winter's leaves out of the containers. Which areas of your life are you feeling overwhelmed or overgrown?

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