Saturday, 12 May 2012

When life gets in the way

I suspect it happens to everyone: we mean to do something but just never get around to it because we are too busy working, taking care of kids, or if you're like me, sick in bed with flu: yuck. The bottom line is that the important things we really want become secondary to the stuff we have to do on a day to day basis. It becomes really difficult to focus on our goals because we're too busy living. Actually, when this happens to me, I'm too busy surviving and my happiness levels plummet.

I am admittedly, a prime example of this as I've not posted an article or two that I've meant to write and have wanted to since I got a short term contract at Balfour Beatty that paid my bills for a couple of months, then got this flu the day after my contract ended. First I was too busy, then I was too sick. In the words of Eric Cartman: "laaaaame". Seriously, most of the reasons we fail to achieve our goals and stated ambitions are lame! I could've written these posts on my iPad on the train. Easily.

In fact, I'm in a nice relaxing bath doing just that right now! I guess at the heart of it there are some simple reasons why we let life get in the way:

  1. Laziness allows us to claim to be too busy/sick etc.. 
  2. We are overwhelmed by the stuff we have to get done.
  3. We don't focus on our goals enough. 
I believe that resolving the third problem will greatly help us resolve the others. I find a daily review of my goals and asking "what can I do today to work towards this" helps me to be creative and think of things that I can do, even if sick in bed or commuting to work. In fact, I think when you get creative, many opportunities arise that normally would just not occur to you.

One way of remaining focused is to list all those small and annoying tasks that must get done and prioritising them so we can do a few each day. This way we remain aware of these outstanding tasks and exercise the art of fulfilling promises to ourselves by getting this stuff out of our way. When I leave little things undone I find myself feeling on edge: my sub-conscience is constantly reminding me that I've forgotten something. So consciously listing stuff in a little to-do list and deciding when to do them instead of doing them ad-hoc let's my subconscious relax and allows me to focus on what's important.

So I promise now not to let life get in the way, to always review my goals and to keep the mountain of stuff small by always keeping the stuff written in a to-do list and committing to get a few done each day.