Sunday, April 29, 2012

My Life in Organized Disorder- Part I

"Don’t dwell on what went wrong. Instead, focus on what to do next. Spend your energies on moving forward toward finding the answer." — Denis Waitley  

When I think about what I want to be, to have and have accomplished, I am looking at my future with varying degrees from necessity to wishful fantasy.While looking in to my future, I set goals and try to live in the present. I work toward what I want, sometimes with great fervor and other times with distracted failure. There is not much in between. I am an all or nothing kind of person. If I keep my eye on the future prize and avoid distractions, all is well. Of course when I allow distractions to enter into my present, I lose the focus of what is to come. Sometimes that is okay. The present moments are more important than the goals of the future in some instances, especially if the present moment involves relationships with family and friends. But when the distractions are just that, often mindless, solitary disruptions to the routines of my life, then I get off target and at best achieve mediocrity.

     In reflection I find in the past several months, despite working toward one goal or another, I have lost my drive and with it focus. I have felt burn-out in my career and challenged in my spirit and health. I have found myself feeling both careless and unappreciated at work, and the load of responsibilities have increased steadily over the past several years. Health and spiritual issues have forced me to reevaluate my priorities and shut down in those areas that are not at the top of the list. I need to get back on track and get all of my priorities straight. Thank goodness for my family and good friends that have picked me up in my personal life and a few of my work colleagues that have gone above and beyond to help me with focusing on the "have-to" list at work and picking up the slack on those extra things that are expected.

     I have worked these past months on setting goals, making lists, and even naming the time that I want my goal to be accomplished. Some things have happened, just as planned, because I wanted them to happen and allowed others to take charge. These accomplishments are few. The other things that I have set as goals have nearly vaporized due to lack of effort and attention. I feel a bit sad thinking how little effort was put into the things that I would have liked to have happened in my life. Am I depressed? Is this a result of the burn-out I feel at work? Is this a response to my lack of control of my health? Whatever the cause, I need to rise out of it all now. I feel the need to regain myself and take back control that has been lost.

    So how do I get back on track? What do I need to do to increase my motivation to achieve my goals, let routines guide the mundane tasks and cut out those pesky, but in-the-moment enjoyable, distractions and disruptions? I guess that would be to recognize my distractions, list them, put them in the forefront so I may deal with them as what they are; goal-killers, routine-avoiders and time-wasters. If I don't do this, I will continue to lose control. I will lose who I am. I feel that in the moment, my free time has been great, but my spirit, my family, my health, my finances and my career need a boost. I find it hard to focus on more than one of these at a time, but they all need to get both short, and long-term attention. It is almost selfish to continue as I have, avoiding what I need to do and what I can do to improve the areas of my life.

     My distractions and diversions are many, but usually work in cycles (as does my productivity when I'm in gear). I think my habits of allowing the phone, computer, TV, books, social networking, games and often people get me off task are easily recognized as distractions. But there are other time-destructing habits that I find I must bring to light. Shuffling papers that should have been dealt with when they first entered my home or desk at work, doing things myself when they should be delegated because I want the control, and procrastination of tasks that are high priority or routine are probably more a problem than the activities that can be used as rewards.  I read an idea that made me cringe, as I really don't feel the need to control others, just my own personal space. Never-the-less, the avoidance of doing what you should, being late, and procrastination are all really ways of taking control in a passive-aggressive way. So really, I am treating myself badly. And that reflects on to the people that I have chosen to include in my life and personal or professional space. OUCH!!!

     In order to become more in control of my life in a more positive fashion, all of the enjoyable activities that I have placed in my life are now going to become my rewards. I do not want to cut them out completely, but to use them as a reward for accomplishing my short-term goals, for completing steps accomplished toward a goal, and for following through in those mindless tasks that are part of my daily/weekly routines. And likewise, all of the habits and behaviors that I have adopted to try to gain control in a passive-aggressive manner need to be replaced with positive and effectively productive behaviors. Hmm.... There is much to think about and change in my future. 
"My success, part of it certainly, is that I have focused in on a few things." — Bill Gates 

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