Becoming “Overwhelm-Proof” & My Life Essentials Lately
Happy Friday, my friends!
I published this instagram post about how I stopped using the word “busy” and how I reminded myself that success does not come from the hours I put in. I find it ironic that I had one of the most challenging week work-wise right after.
The last week reminded me of mid-term exam weeks during college and how I would stay up to finish projects. I didn’t schedule any meetings or events (except tonight which I’m excited about!!) though still had a lot going on.
But even so, I found myself being able to stay afloat and not drown in overwhelm despite the amount of work.
I’m happy to report that it’s Friday and although things have been a bit quiet here on the blog, I’ve accomplished things that I’m hoping would help me long term and that were worth the sacrifice! Indeed, God gives me the grace to do whatever I set my mind to!
Here’s what I did..
1. Having A Routine & Being Around Working People
It was the first time in forever that I had the same full day schedule for a week straight! It feels so nice, actually. I used to think that I would need a different coffee shop, different routines to get me going but having a set one has boosted my productivity by 1000% (probably exaggerated but let it pass this one time haha!)
One thing I love about being a creative entrepreneur is that no two days are the same. That’s still very much true! However, this week, I learned how effective having routines allowed me to be. I didn’t think of what I’m going to do or where I’m going to go or what time I’m going to eat or where. The little things that caused me decision fatigue lost their power because I didn’t have to think about them!
I have been going straight to the library (which I’ve nicknamed my office now haha) right after my morning routine. I started curling my hair and putting on fancy clothes that made me feel like a big girl! Then I would prepare my things and go. My essentials are pictured below. I’m wondering how they all fit into my backpack haha! I also have my lunch, my water bottle + my headphones too. MAGIC.The weather allows me to enjoy my walks listening to a podcast or this “abba’s girl” playlist I created.
I work at the study areas where other people are working on something as well and it’s so nice to share their energy. Seeing them with their heads down on paper or laptop inspires me to keep my focus! (I’m writing this post here!!)
Work-wise, I have been using the pomodoro method for quick breaks and if I am editing photos or doing a passive task that doesn’t really require my thinking, I would listen to a sermon or a Jim Rohn Seminar!
2. Dumping My Brain On To Paper First
Having learned this one right away has made a tremendous difference in my week. At first, I was having challenges to keep my focus because a lot of things were going on in my head.. “I have to remember to do this.. This one’s deadline is on this date.. etc”
I couldn’t work properly until I grabbed my binder and dumped everything in my head on to the paper (I’m kind of impressed that it looked organized and clean! Haha!) I wrote the month, then each area of my work and just dumped everything that had been running in the back of my head and had been taking up my mental space and energy.
After that, I was able to focus and not feel like I was neglecting 1000 other tasks. (Probs exaggerating again, just one more time! Haha!)
3. Non-Negotiable and Disconnected “Me” Time
When the clock hits 1 o’clock, it’s lunch break for me! I get out of the study area and go to one of the seats that overlook a wide field and eat my packed salad for lunch there. It’s so so peaceful! Then I would read my Bible to recharge for the day!
In between tasks before I feel stress build up, I would make sure to pause to either read a book (I’m currently reading The Power of Positive Thinking by Norman Vincent Peale! LIFE CHANGER!), journal, or meditate. (This visualization exercise by Bob Proctor is one of my favs lately!)
Sometimes this also meant simply taking naps especially during when I pulled all-nighters. It made me feel like a baby! I would go home for lunch and then change into my pajamas and sleep for an hour before I change back into my office outfit and walk back to the library. I’m so grateful that I get to control my hours <3
4. Staying In The Presence
If you told me that I would be someone who would bring and read my bible everyday as if my life depended on it, I would've laughed at you. But hey, here I am.
I have been drawn to God more than ever this week and it amazes me how much I was able to get done (not even if, but) because I put Him first. There were projects that I was taking so long to finish but once I asked God to come in, once I said “Abba, let me do this for you.” It was done in no time. AMAZING.
The Power of Positive Thinking is also biblical based but it talks about faith not in the pious way, but that we can use our spirituality for practical ways too. Out of all this, it has been the greatest practice that kept me grounded and still even on raging waters.
Listening to my “Abba’s Girl” playlist on Spotify, reciting Psalms 23 again and again, constantly being in communication with God and devoting what I’m doing to Him altogether altered my work methods.
Last night, I fell asleep repeating this.. “For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” [Matthew 11:30] so beautiful.
5. Just Putting In The Work.
I was never a keen believer in the word ‘hustle’ because of several reasons but this week, it was redefined for me. I learned to sacrifice balance. I learned to discipline myself. I learned to work selflessly. I learned to prioritize properly. And it has all paid off.
It wasn’t because I didn’t have a choice. Even with the worst consequences, I like to believe that we still have a choice. And I’m grateful for the choices I made this week! Indeed, the work that I get to do makes me the happiest girl.
But lastly.. remembering my values.
If I could sum up this week into one lesson it would be this: “Don’t let it kill you when it was only ever meant to fulfill you.”
My work is a gift. Having a purpose is a gift. And I find it silly how I took all this so seriously! I went back to my “why” and there found grace. Ecclesiastes chapters 8 & 9 grounded me.
I’m still learning and I am reporting as I go but I hope this little “overwhelm guide” helps you!
I’m so so proud of you :)