My last two newsletters featured socializing and reading as two of the items on the list of “The Neglected Four” – things that commonly fall off people’s schedules. And when they do our lives are impacted in challenging ways.
We continue the discussion this week with #3 – and with both # 3&4 our lives are definitely impacted, perhaps with more immediate consequences than lack of socializing or reading.
Here is a little funny….I was struggling to write this week’s newsletter (wonder why?) so I called a friend and said, “I thought you might have some ideas for me.” She said “what’s the topic?” I told her and there was an immediate and flat “ugh,” then a long silence. There wasn’t much to say as this topic is a struggle for most of us. We eventually managed to find a laugh in the matter so let’s try for the same here…
Ready for #3? Paperwork.
Ever feel like this guy? Just standing there looking at these papers as they swirl continually around you? How does one make them stop? Taking care of the paper in our life is a task / habit / ritual that is continually pushed to the bottom of the to-do list.
The result? Increased clutter, stress and anxiety. It’s the chicken and egg cycle with clutter and stress – which comes first (?) but each feeds the other in a vicious cycle. Anxiety easily grows as we wonder what is lurking in “that” stack and what we “should” be taking care of but we’re not.
I want you to rest with knowing that basically everyone struggles here so hopefully you’ll find comfort in that. I do! Knowing that I’ve got “category company” helps me feel better about my own paper stacks.
Something to think about…do you schedule regular time to work through your paperwork? Doing so is a common sense event that is not common practice. To begin to cut the stress and fatigue from overwhelming paper stacks (and subsequently feel more confident and have greater clarity about your values and objectives,) one must block regular time to process it.
Try this: before the end of next week make a date with yourself, log the time on your calendar, bring flowers into your space and / or light a candle. The object is to make your environment as inviting and pleasant as possible – AND set a timer. Even if you work longer than what you set the timer for, hearing the bell ring will remind you to stay focused. A couple of 20 minute sessions and you’ll be in a totally different paper place then you were before you started. And don’t forget to celebrate your accomplishments!
Let me know how this works for you. You can post your thoughts and comments below.
Is there anyone out there who has a constant handle on their paperwork? If so email me and you can write next week’s blog “how to manage life’s paper.” Stay tuned.