Do you ever play the game of catching up? Catching up on work, laundry, a tv show, cleaning, fill in the blank… The definition of catch up or catching up is doing tasks one should have done earlier.
I know I am very guilty of this. I often think if I can only get X – fill in the blank done, then I will be caught up. Have you noticed you never really catch up? I recently read a blog post by Courtney Carver from Be More With Less about this topic and I wanted to relate some of her insights and along with my own back to you.
Sometimes we just simply need to slow down and allow ourselves some rest, joy, and space to just be. While some tasks can be weighing heavy on us, remember there will always be more tasks. I am certainly not suggesting not working on your tasks, just remember there simply will never be a “caught up”- there will always be more whether that is something else or the same tasks.
So how can we be ok with where we are at? Courtney suggested a couple great gentle rules that works for herself.
She recommends being present. Be present with where you are at and what you are doing. Don’t let your thoughts flood in about what you should have got done yesterday or what will get done tomorrow. Being anxious about the past or future will not help you accomplish more. In fact it will rob your enjoyment in the moment.
Courtney’s next gentle rule is forgetting about FOMO or the fear of missing out. It is very easy to get wrapped up in what everyone else is doing. You may see activities in your community happening, people overachieving in your industry, or even just what you see on social media. Think about all the content that is thrown our way in one day. We simply can’t absorb it all. Trying to keep up with everything is just simply exhausting and unachievable. Focus on what’s important to you and what is aligned with your goals and values. Don’t worry about what you think others want you to do. And remember there is no race on learning and growing – enjoy what you are taking in and you won’t have to worry about what you are missing.
Along the same lines, Carver’s next gentle rule is doing less. If you are feeling like you can’t keep up, catch up and that you are falling behind it is because you have too much on your plate. It’s just too much. She suggests doing less, owning less, and care less. Of course, minimizing things is not always simple or easy. However, it is important and worth it. Simplifying your life can bring so much more time, less stress, more joy, and freedom. If seeing things on social media triggers you to feel negatively – take the app off your phone. Give yourself a break and see how you feel. If you feel a creative block, my personal experience is when I have eliminated things on my plate and provided some space, the flood gates re-open. Also, taking the time and getting out into nature has helped tremendously.
The next gentle rule is to stop comparing. We often compare ourselves to others and that can be quite impactful on ourselves in a negative way. It can just reinforce your thoughts that you can’t keep up. There are so many factors to the comparison game. What is their life like? Do they have the same obligations, health challenges, energy level, workload, etc… as you do? Many times, we also compare ourselves at a different stage of whatever thing we are comparing. For example, if you are comparing where another beauty professional is in their career who has been established while you are newer to the field it simply not an appropriate comparison. I recommend if you are comparing anything to compare with yourself. Are you better than you were last year? Or even yesterday?
Courtney’s last gentle rule is to honor your boundaries. She really recommends protecting your health, rest, and sleep. Be clear on your boundaries and what matters to you. Incorporating breathing techniques and meditation can be very helpful for your mind and body.
Some areas Carver recommends you don’t need to catch up on are:
Emails – make a time of day you work on email. This helps you from being reactive throughout the day and getting derailed from whatever you were doing.
Keeping a regular sleep schedule is so important. It’s not worth sacrificing your health to stay up late playing catch up.
The news will always be there. If you missed anything you can research the news later if you desire.
Social media has no real value in “catching up”. Use that time to do something more valuable in align with you.
Entertainment – if you missed the latest book or show don’t feel pressured to partake. It will be there when you can take the time to enjoy it.
Remember present over perfect. This may sound simple and like common sense. But if you feel like you can’t catch up asking yourself why can help. Can you cut back some? Even a small task that maybe you can eliminate, or delegate will save you a little time and energy. We hope you found this helpful and insightful.