In a recent conversation, a friend of mine used a great metaphor to describe how he’s been feeling lately: as if he is driving a complex spaceship full of levers and buttons and decisions to make, but feeling a desire to switch to an automatic car where all he has to do is steer the wheel and remember to pull the hand break every once in a while.
The next day, a student in one of my courses said that he feels like he is always in “go” mode, always in the element of fire, and he needs more Earth — more grounding, more space to breathe and think.
To be honest, I’ve been feeling similarly recently—like no matter how much I do I’m always falling behind, and like there is so much complexity in my life that I can’t possibly ever organize it or make sense of it.
The problem is not that I have too much to do
Sometimes I feel like I just can’t handle things anymore—the uncertainty in my work, the constant need for creativity and decision making, all the messages to reply to, the constant pressure to “catch up”.
But then I always come back to the same conclusion:
I love my work. I love my life. I believe in what I am doing and I wouldn’t change it for anything else.
The problem is not the amount of things I have to do—the problem is the lack of space in between those things to check-in with myself, recharge, and reconnect.
Here’s is a ridiculously simple way to reduce chaos and come back to balance
Here it is:
For the first 5 minutes of your day, don’t take in any new information.
Don’t reach for your phone or check Twitter or the news first thing in the morning. You’ll have plenty of new things to deal with during the day. Don’t over-stimulate your dopamine receptors as soon as you wake up, because you’ll be setting yourself up for a day of impatience and overwhelm.