Monday, August 15, 2011

Shut it down & Put it to bed

So life seems to always come at me all at once. It seems to never fail that I manage to schedule a whole bunch of responsibilities at the same time. I have a calendar and I check it before I commit to anything but somehow I end up with weeks where my hours are packed with meetings and tasks.

Last week was one of those weeks. I won't bore you with details. I'm amazed I got through it. But I did learn something very important that will help me in my own Sane & Satisfied journey. A lot of my stress comes from not feeling like I finish anything. I think this feeling has stemmed from the fact that I just have too many ideas and it's hard to finish one idea before moving on to the next. But lately I've realized that this unfinished feeling also comes from me not putting anything to bed at the end of my work day.

I leave my laptop on the coffee table in the living room and I don't close out of the windows I used. Sometimes I leave my email account logged in. I leave my binders and notes scattered on the table and the food and dishes on the counter. And I don't have a definitive stopping point.

So I wake up to all this unfinished business every morning and I wonder why I feel so lousy about my productivity.

I've read from countless self help and goal-oriented people that you are supposed to break down your tasks into manageable chunks. And I get this. But when I try to break my tasks down I never seem to account for every detail. Plus that's just not how I roll. I am more productive when I can work on things organically. When I write down a list of things to do for a certain project I either get so involved and OCD about the task list or I get excited about doing a task that I'm not ready for. Either way, I don't follow my meticulous plan.

I'm sure there are more people like me than we realize. We've just been programed to think that task lists and project managing is the only path to productivity. Some people just don't need there life laid out neatly before them.

If you are like me and don't do well with endless lists and planning but you find it difficult to feel finished then maybe it will help to just set an ending time. At 5:00 you will stop what you doing even if you aren't completely finished. You will put everything (or as much as you can) away, exit out of the windows on the screen, turn out the light and go fix dinner (or whatever it is you do after work).

This post has actually taken a different turn than what I had planned but I'm glad it brought me here. Feeling unfinished has been a huge part of my life. It's been this wet blanket hanging over me. I can't get completely comfortable because I always feel like there's something more to do. And there will always be something more to do. I am an Entrepreneur so it comes with the package.


  1. Again that's so me. And you are so right about leaving the computer on and then coming to it in the am again. My netbook has been booted up and running for 3 days. I make lists too and I check my daytimer and I get jammed up too.
    It really is nice to know I'm not the only one, and yes, I will try to set a time too. We all need a break, I still have to practice that one.

  2. I turned my desktop off for the weekend but I guess it doesn't matter because I'm now on my laptop.... evil computers, won't let me rest.