Have you ever known someone whose life seems to be a series of interconnected crises? These crises seem to constantly consume their life and leave them rushed, forgetful, . Because of constant urgent issues, they never manage to focus their efforts on creating the balance in life they truly want. They are also likely to insinuate that someone else is to blame for their failures or lack of balance. Why would someone choose the roller coaster intensity of crisis situations? Or is it really even a choice? What changes might produce the more peaceful life with balance that they want?
If you see also see yourself in these words, here are some actions to consider taking to improve the pace of your life.
1.) Focusing on crises--of yourself and of others--is a perfect way not to focus on your life and take charge of creating what you want. Constant crises also can produce a feeling of "virtue" at our ability to cope. Spending a life of coping is not living though. When we substitute feeling "virtuous" for forward motion, accomplishing our desires becomes impossible.
Can you see a pattern in the crises? There are times when life simply sends us a series of foul balls (such as a string of deaths of loved ones). This is different from what might be called "manufactured" crises, such as taking on as yours the problems belonging to other adults. It does no one a favor to solve their problems. In fact, it makes them weaker. If you are ignoring your own problems and taking care of someone else's--this is a sure tipoff that your choice is problematic.
2.) If life is a series of crises, take the time to examine any way you might contribute to that occurring. Here are some ideas to consider. Do you fail to take action in a timely manner? Do you allow clutter and disorder to keep you in an ineffective state? Do you end up making no progress because of massive amounts of deferred decisions and actions? Do you stay in a state of overwhelm as a way never to get started? Do you find it impossible to focus on any one action until it is completed because of the thought of all the other items demanding your attention?
3.) One of the best techniques you can use to get started and get things done one at a time is to make a list. List everything you need to do. After completion, don't use the size of the list as an excuse to feel overwhelmed. Simply make the list. Conceivably, it can be pages and pages long. Don't worry about any of that. You will be handling one thing at a time.
4.) Now, take your list and number things in order of priority. Starting with the most urgent items with the biggest potential consequences. Again, don't let the immensity of your list distract you.
5.) Start with the #1 thing on your list. Focus only on that item. Don't let anything else distract you. Do not put your time and attention on any other items. If you find that in order to complete your #1 items, you must do another items first, reorder your list and refocus onto that #1 item. (Often this is the experience when clutter is the real issue.)
6.) The real challenge comes in when you allow other items on the list to distract you and you go back to your old habits of going nowhere because of overwhelm and distraction. Just remind yourself to do one thing at a time, and keep going on that one thing.
7.) You may find that you are now actually feeling clearer and experiencing some success. You may also find that temptations and distractions to pull you off course will greatly intensify. It may seem that progress itself is "causing" new issues to arise. Double check and see if these issues are actually the problems of other people. Just realize that these "crises" will possibly be quite extreme. Give yourself permission to remain focused on your #1 priority in your own life. Often, if you are able to maintain your focus at this point, you will soon complete #1.
8.) When you have completed #1, your #2 priority item becomes your #1. Your new #1 now receives your full focus, efforts and attention.
9.) If your #1 item is a huge item, break it down into many small and discrete actions. For instance, instead of "Clean my office.", you could have many small potential actions. This could be things like, "Clean top of desk.", "Create box for files to be made.", "Make a place to put bills to be paid.", "Find all unpaid bills and put them there.", "Pay bills.", " Clean three inch pile off cabinet." Put all these tiny actions in sequence by priority and start at the top. When you have time, handle one small step at a time.
10.) Work each activity through to completion. Again, be sure they are broken down into many small actions. It's much more satisfying to cross a lot of small activities off your list as completed than taking hours and days to cross a single item off your list.
Your life does not have to be a series of crises. You can take charge and change your circumstances. You can give up taking responsibility for the lives of others and not fulfilling your own life. Yes, it may feel overwhelming. You can though--one small item at a time--wrest control and satisfaction out of the clutch of chaos. You can do it!