Hey Abundant Musicians!
Do you ever have those days where you just feel like EVERYTHING is too much?
This semester, as I've started a new job, juggled my old job, and have a list of things I want to accomplish that is absolutely as long as my arms if you lined 5 of them up hand-to-shoulder in a row, i've definitely hit overwhelm a few times.
Some days, no matter how much careful planning you do, you can feel like this little guy below.
Sometimes, I'm this guy ^ and I sip that delicious cup of hot coffee and spend a moment with my head in the sand, ignoring the chaos around me. For those few glorious moments, i'm toasty, comfy and happy in my fake bliss.
But then, after that cup of coffee is gone, and you take a moment to look around, you realise that LITERALLY EVERYTHING IS ON FIRE!
The table? On fire
Roof? Yep. Fire
You get it.
So how do you escape this burning world of pain and find your safe route outside?
Don't sweat the small stuff.
Don't bring everything with you as you flee!
When you're on a plane and the flight attendant is talking you through the evacuation procedures, do they tell you to take everything you own with you? Why not? I hope the answer is obvious - it'll slow you down and get in the way. You'd have to climb over people's bags, maybe your bag strap got caught on a chair as you passed by, or you have to wait for someone to pull their massive roller bag from the overhead compartment and then they accidentally put a hole in the inflatable exit ramp on the way out with their stilettos.
It's madness when you try to bring everything with you as you save yourself.
But what does this mean for every day things?
Well, when you're facing an overwhelming feeling of THE WORLD IS ON FIRE and you just cant see the way around it, start off by identifying the things that aren't necessary.
1. Make a list of all of the things you THINK you need to do.
2. Identify the items in your list that are ABSOLUTELY necessary
3. Identify the things on your list you can delay for a few days
4. Identify the things you really don't NEED to do.
Most of the items in step 3 and 4 will be small, annoying and feel like busy work. This will also be where you have projects that you might not yet be ready to take on, but that are weighing on your mind.
Here's the thing. A lot of the items on your list will be small - regardless of if they're necessary or not. Are you worried your student won't get ALL of their 32 lessons this year and you're terrified you wont be able to make it up to them? Just me?
When things are on fire, focus on the #necessary. What do you need to do to get out of immediate danger?
Get these things DONE, and move forward.
Don't allow yourself to get bogged down by the optional and unnecessary things on your list. Even though these items might be more fun, they'll only slow you down and keep you stuck.
Being busy is totally normal, but staying busy WITHOUT progress will wear you down.
So take a moment. Breathe. Make a list.
Then, just do it!
(and don't sweat the small stuff!)