Updated: Apr 7
Do you obey this sign?
This has nothing to do with traffic signals.
We wanted to share a tip with you that we learned from a friend seeking help for mental health.
Remember last week when we talked about taking little moments for yourself throughout the day, but that we needed to be able to do more than that? Well, this is one way we’re going to try to do more.
Here is what our friend learned:
First, some background – this friend was having a lot of difficulty with anxiety and depression, and was getting stuck in a loop of thinking about the same thing over and over, kind of like how you kill a spider and then whack it another 6 times to make sure it’s dead?
When it comes to spiders, by all means beat it to death (sorry if there are any spider-lovers here…oops). When it comes to thoughts, it isn’t helpful or healthy.
Now, maybe you’re thinking, ‘what does this have to do with me? I don’t have anxiety’ – Great! BUT if you own a small business, work in one, or are a human being in 2020, maybe you don’t get stuck THINKING the same thing, but DOING the same thing.
Beating your head against a wall trying to get everything done, going and going with no end in sight.
That’s where we say STOP!
This is the strategy our friend was given: give yourself time to worry. Thinking about things, working out problems is necessary. But give yourself a limit, say, 30 minutes. When the 30 minutes are up, picture a big red stop sign and force yourself to think something different, do something different.
You can apply this in different ways in business as well:
Maybe you’ve been working on the same task, and getting nowhere.
Give yourself 30 minutes, an hour, whatever seems reasonable, and once that time is up, picture that big red stop sign, move on to something else and, if you need to, come back to it later.
Maybe you’re avoiding trying something new, because you don’t know when it will end. Give yourself a reasonable time limit, and then stop.
Maybe it’s Friday afternoon, you’ve worked all week and you already know what’s ahead of you on Monday.
No one expects you to work 24/7. You shouldn’t expect that of yourself.
Set your limit, say, 4pm on Friday. Picture that big red stop sign, and put work aside until Monday.
And you know what? On Monday, you’re probably going to feel refreshed and maybe even inspired.
By setting boundaries and time-limits for tasks, you may just train yourself to become better at time management (something that seems even harder in 2020 than before..).