So, I was thinking I really need to clone myself. Right now, I’d like to have three extra versions of myself, similar to the movie Multiplicty starring Michael Keaton.
Clone One would do all of my online marketing. She’d handle my two contracts, attend networking events, tweet generously on my business account, and keep me up to date on industry happenings and trends.
Clone Two would unpack my house. She’d clean for me, decorate my new house, empty these boxes, and make my environment home again. It would be fabulous because she’d know exactly where to put everything.
Clone Three would nurture all relationships outside of my home. She would be responsible for calling my mother, responding when my best friend has a crisis, having drinks in the city with that visiting-from-out-of-town friend from college, keeping up with old friends on Facebook, tweeting on my personal account, and taking my son to play dates with mommy friends. She’d be a busy bee.
I would stay in bed writing and recovering from my recent abdominal surgery. Taking care of my son and spending quality time with my husband would also stay on my list of things to do.
Take Time to Decompress When Overwhelmed
Unfortunately, my personal cloning machine got lost in the mail. All of this has to get done by me. Some of it has deadlines (writing, online marketing); some pays the bills (online marketing); and some of it is necessary to keep me sane (writing, a happy environment, and good relationships). It’s all screaming for attention NOW.
What to do? Write a blog post, of course. Seriously, when I am overwhelmed, the most productive thing for me to do is take ten or twenty minutes to decompress. It may sound counter-intuitive to “waste” time on something not explicitly on my list of first priorities, but running around like a mad woman burns precious energy. I must calm down to effectively handle my demands.
Set a Timer on Productivity
This time around, I’m going to try a productivity trick that has been posted numerous times. My take on it is to set my timer for eighty minutes and work, work, work on one task without interruption. Close Gmail and MS Outlook. Kill Twitter and Facebook. Just write, or code, or design, or market, or whatever my task is. Then, I’ll take ten minutes to relax and decompress before starting over with a new task.
The beauty of this is it will allow me to focus on one task without my mind wandering to the other six things I could be doing of equal importance. Each priority will have its time. And, I get a little me-time as well.
(Note: I upped my work time to eighty minutes instead of the standard fifty because I like my writing in bigger chunks. Maybe the fifty minute rule will work better for you.)