Hello, my name is Jeanette and I’m an organizing freak. Yes, I admit it. I can not function in chaos. I’m a planner as well. I have to know all my steps, my master to-do list, my map so-to-speak. I have always been that way and I am finally comfortable enough and proud to say that I will always be that way. We all operate and function in different ways. Just as people learn via different methods, people can also thrive (or not thrive) in various environments.
For years, nay almost a decade, I thought that something was wrong with me, on why I couldn’t succeed in doing things, why others succeeded when I didn’t, why I consistently felt stressed out and not myself. Part of it was those people that I thought were my mentors and while they were (and still are) amazing people which I learned a lot from, they consistently told me one thing over and over again which seriously hindered me…they told me “quit planning and just do”. While that may work for most people, I am certainly not most people and it definitely did not work for me. And it wasn’t until recently that I realized that.
I was bumbling along in my career. Trying to succeed in this, trying to succeed in that, with zero luck. I was attempting the “just do”, but I didn’t feel like myself and when you don’t feel like yourself, you definitely lack self-confidence. And when you don’t have self-confidence, well…everyone can tell. I didn’t feel strong or sure of myself. I constantly second-guessed myself. I consistently let fear of the unknown get the better of me. And I think that the biggest thing for me is the fear of the unknown. Heck, I get ridiculously uncomfortable driving in new places unless I’ve reviewed the route via Google Maps at least a half dozen times. I need to know the route, the back up route and the back up route for the back up route. The same is true of my life.
I make plans and then I play devil’s advocate to come up with a few back-up plans just in case. I’m constantly joking around that if you create a back up plan, then you won’t need it, but if you don’t have a back-up plan, then that’s when you’ll need it. Yeah, I joke about it, but I really truly believe it to the core. It calms me, it soothes me. Knowing I have a plan B and a plan C, allows me to relax about plan A, not worry so much about it, have more self-confidence about it and you know what? I very rarely have to use plan B and I can’t remember the last time I’ve had to use plan C. It’s just so comforting to me knowing that they are there.
And that works for me. It gets rid of a lot of the chaos (I’ll never get rid of all of it, nor would I want to as chaos does provide that air of excitement), but most importantly it leaves me with a calmer mind that allows me to succeed in my project du jour.
Now for those naysayers who are thinking to themselves (or even out loud), “Sure, you’re a great planner, but plan all you want, nothing happens until you do something”. Here’s where I take my planning to the “doing” level. Once I have a gameplan, I set it up into teeny tiny, succinct to-do lists. I mean like ridiculously tiny and succinct (google such-and-such to brainstorm, pick top 3 ideas from google brainstorm session, create a gameplan for each top 3 ideas from google brainstorm session-yes, those have been actual to-do items for me). Then I take those to-do items and add them into my calendar task list for the appropriate day that it should be done on. If a to-do item doesn’t or can’t have a due date, then that means that I need to re-evaluate it in my overall gameplan and tweak it to where it can have a due date. Everything in my gameplans ultimately have due dates. That’s how I can take my planning self and turn it into a doing self. If it’s a project that take two weeks to complete, then I break it down into teeny, tiny bites/tasks that can each be accomplished in one day and then I add all of those to my task list.
Sure, I end up having 40-50 tasks each day to do, but you know what? Over half of those tasks take 5 minutes or less each. And I’m telling you, you definitely feel like you are having a successful day when you are constantly checking off things as completed. And lots of little baby steps can take you really far.
Creating those task lists by due date also help clear my mind in that I only worry about what is on my list for today. I don’t worry about tomorrow or the next day or next week. I don’t have to worry about forgetting something, because as soon as I think of “something that I have to make sure I don’t forget”, I add it to my calendar task list and then I’m free to forget about it until it conveniently pops up in my list on the day it’s due. It’s refreshing and limits my daily stress.
Now, one extremely important thing that I have learned and 100% respect is that not everyone operates like I do. Where I try to avoid chaos, there are others out there that thrive in it, that love it, that fuels them. There are those people who just the thought of a to-do list freaks them out. And it’s very important to know that that’s ok! We all function differently in different ways and in different environments. The key to success, especially when working in groups, is to understand that the way that you do things is not the way that others are going to want to do things. It’s ok to allow each member of a team to do things their way as long as they get to the agreed upon final product. Just as Google Maps has various ways to get somewhere, the same is true of projects.
I guess what I’m trying to say is to embrace who you are and how you work while respecting the way others work. Tolerance like in all areas of life is important. Be tolerant to others but also be tolerant to yourself. That’s the one we typically forget. Let others be themselves, but don’t forget to be yourself as well.
There is absolutely nothing UNclassier than a grumpy grumpster. Bad, negative attitude, bitchy even. It’s just so not classy. But we all get that way some days. It’s normal, it’s natural. We do so many things throughout our days that if we don’t take a little time to destress, it can drive us absolutely bonkers. Some days we just need to “check out” for a while and yesterday was most definitely one of those days for me.
I’ve been handling and running so many different projects lately (ones that I’m excited about!), but between those, a hubbie, two kids, and the not-so-fun symptoms of peri-menopause, I will admit it, I was bitchy yesterday…and the day before that…and if we’re counting, the day before that too. You get the idea. So I decided to take a much needed break last night even though my to-do list was horrendous, I was going to do no one any good unless I decompressed and took some time for myself. I decided to do a tech-free spa night.
There’s no fabulous pictures of my spa night because I went tech-free for the evening-no emails, no Facebook, no television. I had a pile of fashion magazines waiting to be read (ummmm…one of them was from last November…oops). I also had a complexion that was feeling worse for wear. So I gave myself a DIY facial. I removed my eye make-up and washed my face. Then I put on a glycolic peel mask (the one from No7) and waited a little bit longer than what they initially said, ok, a lot longer, but who’s counting? After washing it off, I put on a super hydrating mask from Nuxe (the 24hr hydrating one). After letting that sit, I rinsed it off then went to work putting on my treatments. I’m really loving the new L’Oreal Revitalift series-specifically the hyaluronic acid serum and the regular serum. I used the hyaluronic one where I needed it so basically everywhere from my nose down. The regular serum I put everywhere else. I then topped everything off with a heavy duty shea butter cream from No7 (the one with the rose top). I then plopped myself in my recliner with a cocktail, some chocolates and my fashion magazines. All, in all it made for a fabulous night!
This morning I woke up to the softest skin I’ve had in a REALLY long time and I felt motivated to start tackling my to-do list again. Sometimes we just need to step away from things for a few hours and regain ourselves back.
What do you like to do to step away and recharge?
Photo from theje.com
This week was a super tough one for me. I was behind on so much stuff, both work-wise and household. My to-do list was a mile long. I was still getting over that obnoxious cough that EVERYBODY seems to have and not shake. My allergies were making me want to cut my sinuses out of my head. My dirty laundry pile not only overflowed the hamper, but was trickling down my room and into the bathroom. I had THREE days of dirty dishes sitting on my kitchen counter (and it wasn’t done purposefully for a shoot like last time!). I had injured my tailbone (I know, seems minor, try doing anything that involves sitting.), so I couldn’t go to my yoga classes nor my karate classes. And to top it all off…PMS! Sometimes I almost wish they had taken my ovaries as well when I had my hysterectomy.
I know that by now I’ve lost any guys who might have considered reading this post. Lol. No worries as I so often say. Women out there, especially those with monster careers, families or both are all shaking their heads in agreement and saying, “Yup, soooooo been there.” IT SUCKS! I hate feeling like I’m rushing around out of control with not a moments time for my mind to comprehend anything. Luckily for me it doesn’t happen very often, but when it does…it DOES! And this was definitely one of those horrid times.
In fact, this morning is the first time all week that I feel like my good-mood, productive self. My glorious husband (have to say that, he’s a FB friend and might read this. hehehe. Love you babe!) took our kids up to his parents house and they are staying there all day. He’s coming back later this evening in time for a much-needed soiree at a new friend’s house tonight, but the kids are staying until tomorrow. I desperately needed this alone time, de-stressing time. I am such a loner. Lol. I LOVE to be by myself-go to movies, eat out, go shopping, but I seldom get to do that with all of the things I have balancing on my plate right now. But needless, to say, today’s alone-time is much needed.
Now back on topic though (or at least the title of the post), the importance of a de-stressing hobby. The first thing I did when everyone vacated the house this morning was work on my backyard garden. I know, I know! I’m a beauty-junkie/fashionista. What the heck am I doing digging around in the dirt with bugs?
Oddly enough, I have found that gardening is a HUGE de-stresser for me. It has taught me patience (I of the “I want it NOW” mentality), which I have NEVER had. The idea of planting a seed and having to wait sometimes two whole weeks to see a tiny smidgen of green emerge from the damp soil can at times set my teeth grating, but learning to acknowledge and accept that no matter what I do, I simply have to wait really helps me to calm down. Making nice, neat, tidy rows of fruits and vegetables, nurturing them, spending time everyday with them outside, no need to rush around, time to relax, de-stress, get some fresh air as I water them, pull weeds, get excited as I see a new sprout, flower or teeny tiny vegetable forming. The anticipation of the amazing flavor explosion when I get to have a vegetable salad in a few months and everything came out of my backyard.
It goes back to one of my earlier posts about finding the pleasure in everyday things. Sometimes you have to find something ordinary that simply makes you happy even if it in no way makes sense to you or anyone else. Heck, I don’t like the sun, am petrified of bugs and hate getting my hands dirty. Yet, I LOVE TO GARDEN! Makes no sense, never will, but you know what, it works for me. You have to do that. Find what makes you happy.
Don’t talk yourself out of something if it makes absolutely no sense and people call you crazy when you tell them about it. Sometimes you just have to do something that makes you happy and happy people are much less-stressed. So, here I am, sitting in my garden…outside…typing away on my laptop feeling more and more like myself, much less stressed…BEE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! AAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH! 🙂