Living in Cope Mode
I feel like I could use this topic to spin off all kinds of posts ranging from learning to say no to how to tap into your intuition. Maybe I still will. 🙂
I’ve mentioned here and there that I’ve been feeling overwhelmed for at least a good month or so. My problems are all good ones to have — too much work with not enough hours in the day. As much as I wish it weren’t true, there is too much of a good thing.
I gave up one of my teaching jobs at the end of March. While it was a relief to not wake up at 4 am anymore and have complete control over my weekends, it didn’t really free up a ton of time. All it really did was allow me to get slightly more sleep on a Tuesday. I knew it wasn’t a huge thing off my plate, so I didn’t really expect things to change much. And they didn’t.
Do you ever feel like you’re doing too many things and you’re only doing them all adequately? That’s where I am right now. I’ve likened it to doing my work at a C-level when I’m a notoriously A-level performer. Everything is getting done, but it’s at the last minute which leaves me feeling rushed and scattered.
I feel like I’m coping and not living.
The good news is that all of this is fixable. If you had found me in this situation a few years ago, I would have told you that my life was over and there’s nothing that could be done. Past Erin was a bit extreme.
If something in your life isn’t working, fix it. It’s your life, so figure out what you need to do to get it where you want it to be. It’s that simple.
Here are the things I am planning on doing to remedy this situation. Although I’m talking about me, remember that we are all more similar than you think and I bet this resonates with at least one of you right now. If that person is you, consider taking some of these steps yourself.
Do a financial breakdown
One of the reasons why I haven’t given up certain things is because I haven’t really sat down to figure out how much income I’m making on a monthly basis. I know I make enough for survival plus more for savings, but I don’t know exactly how much more. I assume that if I let one of my bigger obligations go, I won’t be making enough money, when in actuality I may already have it covered.
This is made difficult since my income is random and sporadic. I have an approximate amount I make each month, but with variable training weeks and blog/social media projects, it can be hard to track. Having a better idea of where I am financially will make these decisions easier.
Figure out priorities
When I started working here in Chicago, I did whatever I could. Now that my schedule is busier, I need to take a step back and actually look at everything I do. Am I enjoying it? Am I spending too much time on one job when I’d really like to be increasing another?
My blogging and social media income is increasing and that’s what really brings me the most joy. I currently only have Tuesdays to work at home and get ahead on things while trying to shove it into the other days of the week between clients and classes. Ideally I’d like to set aside another full day at home.
Remove things that make the least or bring the least satisfaction
With a variety of jobs comes a variety of incomes. It makes the most sense to remove the things that take up time but pay me the least. I have a general idea of what those things are, but after a financial breakdown it should be more apparent.
Set further boundaries
I’ve already learned to say no to training clients because it’s evident to me that I can’t physically see all of them. I’ve also tightened my training radius to include areas right around my home which saves on commuting time and therefore allows me to see more people. I’ve stopped working for free as much because I simply don’t have the time to dedicate to everything.
It’s easy to set boundaries when you have to. If you physically can’t do something it’s no problem, but the tricky part comes when you have the potential to do a job or see another client but have to figure out if it’s worth it. This sounds like a post for another day, what do you think?
Ultimately, it’s all good. Some days are more stressful than others, but at the end of them I know I’m the one who is responsible for creating them. If I want less stress, I do the things I need to to lessen it. I will work on lessening the load (or at least restructuring it) and I’ll report back to you guys. Let me know if you have any tips in the comments!