The secret of your future is hidden in your daily routineMike Murdock
In The Flow
I’ve been thinking about my recent life journey. By recent, I mean 5-10 years.
When I look back, I can remember occasional moments (not often) when I thought I had the upper hand on life, felt as though I was in control of events and was feeling quite happy with myself.
Guilty of self-righteousness? Maybe, but I could see all my ducks in a row and beautifully aligned with the stars. I was in a flow.
This generally didn’t last for long. Probably for a few days, weeks, if I’m honest.
There were more often moments when I felt like a surfer who had just wiped out, is dragged down and is going through what is hopefully a short spin-cycle and not a double-wave hold-down.
Life can often give you that wake-up call, just when you thought you were on a roll.
Sometimes, outside and uncontrollable factors – black swan events, whether emotional or economic – can just turn up out of the blue and stop you in your tracks and take the wind out your sails.
Most times, though, it’s more than likely that we’ve just taken our eye off the ball, have become complacent.
Too cocky? Maybe.
In reality, it is likely that WE are the ones responsible for whatever is about to hit us, that incoming sh*t-storm, due to our actions or our inactions.
Whether self-induced or beyond our control, the outcome is seeing our fragile world take a few knocks.
Light At The End Of The Tunnel (not)
It has to be said that recent events have brought a whole new meaning to “Seeing The Light At The End Of The Tunnel”. A trio of lockdowns over 13 months is pretty significant, especially when it coincides with holiday periods. You may not get to see your folks, family, colleagues, partner for a while and may feel that your personal freedom of movement has been somewhat restrained, if not altogether taken away for a while.
We’re all in the same boat, whether adult or child, and we all have to find our own ways of shaking off the fuzziness, this cloud of uncertainty that blurs our vision, that prevents us from projecting ourselves into the future, short-term or otherwise.
It’s understandable that we may feel some FUD = Fear Uncertainty Doubt. Or even Fear Of Change.
Give Me Normality Any Day
Realising the circumstance we are in, is the first part of the process of our return to normality.
Accepting, nay, admitting that we could be in a stupor, a slumber, a state of bewilderment or that lassitude and apathy have invaded our mind, already constitutes a positive act.
A step in the right direction.
You may have that sense of NOT feeling depressed. But then again, you may NOT particularly have any cause to be super upbeat either.
Somewhere in between.
It’s hard to actually fathom how you perceive the current world you live in.
You just know that your life used to be otherwise.
It’s simply been parked on a layby on a busy stretch of road. The engine’s just ticking over and you’re in neutral.
You just can’t seem to locate the pedals and gear stick (I don’t drive an automatic).
The best time to kick-start your life was yesterday. The next best time is today. How about it? Get your driving goggles on, ‘cos we’re going out for a spin.
Ok, let’s be honest.
In reality, this is where it can be become difficult or even overwhelming.
Knowing Where To Begin
So many aspects of our lives have been put on hold – put on the back-burner -, that it may be hard to know where to begin.
One thing’s for sure: taking on too many tasks at once, being too hasty to get our sh*t together can result in information overload. Worse still, throwing in the towel and being stuck in that layby.
To be avoided at all costs!
In life, we all need our victories, however small.
And preferably on a regular basis.
Our brain, our mind needs to believe it is doing the right thing.
That way, we can start to feel that we’re on the right track to normality.
To-Do or NOT To-Do? That is the question…
I’m a bit of a TODO-LIST person, myself. Not everyone’s cup of tea, but at least it allows me to see what is cluttering up my life, maybe even hindering me, preventing me from moving forward.
- Pay bills
- Cancel Insurance
- Change phone operator
- Check bank statements
- Phone bank (why are they slapping on unexpected bank charges?)
- Check savings
- Do tax declaration
- Phone Financial Advisor – retirement
- Phone plumber – tap leaks
- Check Decking for balcony
- Clean windows (where are my sons ?)
- Declutter kids’ cupboards (clothes, old toys, books)
- Put up shelves (I bought them 3 weeks ago!)
- Buy comfy Director’s chair
- Book MOT
- Phone Dentist – check-up
- Book blood test
- Buy running shoes
- Summer Hols ideas (complicated with 3 boys who want to go on holiday with their mates AND tag along with us)
- Buy bed – rescue my back
- Send Birthday card to nephew
- Organise w/e down South
- Nail-down w/e at Sister/Bro-in-Law
You get the picture. When I have a van-load of tasks to complete, I have to prioritize them and determine what is URGENT, HIGH-, MEDIUM-, LOW-PRIORITY.
Some of them I have clearly been putting off for a while. Some of them are nice-to-have.
Many of them are consuming too much of my mental energy and the sooner I deal with them, the better I know I will feel.
Breaking certain tasks down into manageable chunks brings clarity and often reveals some major forgotten points.
I enjoy the personal victory when I can tick off an item on my list that I keep on the kitchen wall (I know. It’s really sad isn’t it).
I love my smartphone and also hate it. It it such a source of distraction when I’m trying to immerse myself in a task, a subject. Switching it on airplane mode can avoid being interrupted incessantly by futile messages.
Routine is not a prison, but the way to freedom from timeMary Barton
Having some kind of a routine gives me a sense of “order” in my life, even if it’s making the bed as soon as I get up, having a few glasses of water (fuel for my brain), going for a walk or a run each day without fail.
If I miss any of the above, then I am depriving myself of my quota of mini-victories for the day.
All these small micro-steps spur me on to want to do more.
Feel free to share your take on how to drag yourself out of a slumber and back into action