Welcome to your best week
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Hello, lovely. Thank you for joining me for day five of Searching for Serenity's seven day video tutorial series for your best week. So, today we are on day five. We are rapidly approaching the end of our week together. I will be doing a wrap up ... No, overview of towards the end of this week. I wanted just briefly to touch on something that we discussed yesterday. Of course, the last couple of days we've been looking entirely in your to-do list; How to categorise your to-do list and don't know where to start. Working through your to-do list, but also strategizing. Having that time, morning or evening, to sit down and consider what tasks are important to you, what do you want to achieve, and planning your day.
There is something to be added to this, which is: There is always, without fail, a task which is actually in the 'not important/not urgent' pile, or is working its way up the pile, that makes you feel slightly nauseous. There's always that one task, that one client, that one file, that one student, that one subject that you struggle with/that is a blind spot. Usually, it's a learning curve and it's one that you're not prepared or not ready to face; Especially when you're exhausted and overwhelmed. When you are using the matrix to set out your to-dos, when you're listing them out, if you can identify those tasks that give you that feeling in the pit of your stomach ... Whatever they are, whatever their to-do value, whatever their urgency, move them up to number two on your list.
Get the urgent and important out of the way, and then deal with these tasks. Now, the reason that I say this to you is this: If they are something that are a learning curve, then you've got to face that hurdle. We can't put off our learning in order to wait for the right time. There is no right time. There is no good time to start anything, and really the time is right now to get it done. Just do it. The other thing is it takes up far more of your energy worrying about this task, trying to put it off, or trying to work your way around it. Get it done, get it out the way. The sense of relief that you will feel will be immense. If it's a problem because it's too technical, it's beyond your abilities, it's an issue of complaint or something that you haven't quite dealt with correctly; It's time to face that head on.
I can guarantee that you've held yourself to a higher standard than anybody else will ever expect you to. The reason I know this is because you're here. You've been called to my message and that's exactly the energy that each of my clients has. We are perfectionists, we are Type A personalities. We go far above and beyond, and do far more than anybody else. If you think it's a problem, by anybody else's standards, it probably won't be. You need to get it done, because you're putting it off and you're creating yourself more stress and more worry by putting it off.
There is a theory behind this, which is 'eat that frog'. You pick the most difficult, the most technical, or the most taxing task and you get it done at the beginning of the day. There's an entire book on this concept. 'Eat that frog' means you get the most difficult and the most energy depleting task out of the way. That day will always be a win because you've got big thing done. From there, don’t think that you can just rest on your laurels because there's plenty more to get on with, you will know that you've had an achievement. I want to bring 'eat that frog' to your repertoire of tips and tricks, and to remind you that anything that is taking more of your energy than it requires can be delegated, can be sent out or just needs to get done.
Moving on from your to-do list, because I think we spent quite enough time on that ... It's something that you are going to be revisiting time and again. We're going to slightly switch tracks. At the beginning of this week, I came to you and said self care is incredibly important and you need to spend at least 10 minutes a day. Hopefully, throughout this week as we've been going through this, you freed up more pockets of time by applying these rules. Rinse and repeat, you will keep freeing up pockets of time, you will keep finding more space. I would encourage you to set aside at least a third of those spaces that you open up to self care. We'll say it time and time again, you cannot pour from an empty cup. If you are depleted, you cannot keep giving.
That's exactly what burn out is about. You've been giving too much for too long, and there's not enough left for you. Keep implementing self care. Along that same track, we are going to look today at your working schedule. When you've looked at your time sheets, what time do you start work in the morning? What time do you finish at night? If you split your shift by going to the office, going home, spending some time with your family and then starting work again; How many hours do you work in a day? How many hours do you work consistently without a break? How often do you take your lunch break? Or is your lunch break simply made up of running errands for other people, things that your family need to get done and shoving a sandwich in your face in the last five minutes?
Today, I'm asking you to make a commitment to stopping that. Research shows that we cannot concentrate on a single task for more than 90 minutes. I can tell you right now that if you are as exhausted and overwhelmed, and struggling as I believe you are, 90 minutes may as well be a marathon. As we become more exhausted, our brain's ability to cope and specifically to multitask or task switch is almost eradicated. That is why we are focusing on creating the to-do list and working through it methodically; Because it's one thing at a time, it's not task switching or trying to multitask, both of which are bound to be completely ineffective.
At the same time, you have to start building up your reserves. By the same theory that I came to and said self care daily, I'm also reiterating: Take breaks. Make sure that at least three days a week, you take your full lunch break, even if it means getting out and just walking around. In fact, in some ways that's even better. Getting out and having some exercise in the middle of your day is shown to boost not only ... As you can imagine, your serotonin, your endorphins ... It will also increase your ability to sleep at the end of the day, because it will help your circadian rhythms. It will help your Vitamin D production, which helps with your energy. Get out.
Now, you will probably feel guilty doing this. Don't. Studies also show that when you take regular breaks and when you do restore the stores that have been depleted, you are more efficient. You are more active, you are more energised. What's ... The wisdom may feel slightly incongruous, saying 'take a break and you'll be more effective'. It is true. Down tools, get out, rest and relax. Listen to music, listen to a motivating book. Listen to this video if you need to. If you need me to kick your ass over it, I can do that. Get out, get out. Have nourishing food, take a walk, get some exercise. Even if you can't take your full lunch break ... Which I actively encourage you to do ... Get out for at least 20 minutes. I would also encourage you to set timers so that you take a break at least once every 90 minutes.
One of my clients has a really good method for this, which is to drink so much water throughout the day that she has to get up and go to the toilet every 90 minutes. Even if you are doing that, getting up, stretching, resting your eyes ... Doing a couple of stretches in the toilet cubicle once you're away from your desk ... All of these are tips that I use when my energy starts to drop. As you use these tools, you will start to discover when your energy drops and be able to rectify it.
So, that's your task for today. One, eat that frog. Two, taking regular breaks/taking your full lunch break and getting up at least once every 90 minutes. Setting reminders to do this, even if it's simply to go and get a cup of tea and to stretch your arms over your head for 30 seconds. Let me know how you get on with this one. It's slightly easier than other days, but it's more tricky to stick with. Consistency is key here. As always, if you need more help or guidance, or you have questions to ask, you can reach out to me in the Facebook group, Searching Serenity. Or you can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I'll be back in your inbox tomorrow for day six. In the meantime, have an amazing day and take care of yourself. Bye for now.