How to Change?

posted in: General Post | 10

The last few years for me have been a cycle of working until I’m exhausted (at work and home), take a week of leave from work to go on holiday and catch up on sleep, come back and plan to do things differently and learn to say no, and then start again working until I’m exhausted… and so on.  Today I went back to work after a fantastic week off relaxing in the Lake District, and I’ve been thinking about that “plan to do things differently” bit.  Can I actually do it this time?

I have always been a bit of a perfectionist.  I like to be organised, and can’t cope with day to day life without a list or two to work from.  I know when things are getting out of control as I start to not be bothered about things, I don’t have a list and things start to get messy.  This is just the way I’ve always been I think – I need my working environment to be clean and tidy and to feel organised in order to feel in control of what I am doing.

An old (and completed) list
An old (and completed) list

So what changes can I make to my day to day routine so stop the “out of control” signs from showing again? How can I get in the car on the way home from work and not sit and worry about all the things I didn’t do in the office and all the things I haven’t got time to do at home?  How can I make time for exercise, blogging, playing games on my xbox and wii, practising my trombone and bass guitar, watching films and listening to music?

I did think about Tai Chi, which I know would be adding something else into my already busy schedule, but as it’s all about clearing the mind and relaxing the body I thought that might work.  I tried a one off taster class recently and enjoyed it.  A friend looked for me and unfortunately couldn’t find any classes where I live – but there are some near work but that might not be possible.  Maybe swimming – I love the water – but I think I’d go a few times then give up like I seem to with every other sort of excercise.  I’m actually quite a lazy person – I’d much rather be sat on the sofa!

Comfy sofa
Comfy sofa

So I’m looking for Splodz Blogz readers to give me some advice!  What can I do?  How can I switch off?  What is the best way to keep on top of things at home so I don’t end up just leaving everything to get really bad and then get all upset because it’s so out of control?!  Any suggestions will be carefully considered… and I’m planning a future blog post to share your ideas with others just in case they might help someone else too.

This post is written as someone who knows they suffer from anxiety which leads me to panic about silly things.  I am looking for practical suggestions to help me change the way I look at things and hopefully prevent future ‘episodes’ as well as to share on Splodz Blogz with others who might want similar advice.

10 Responses

  1. melvis

    I have the same problem, so whilst I can’t think of anything to start the list of suggestions, I will definitely be interested in reading the future blog post as and when it is compiled. I know I do too much, so I have just today emailed my Avon area manager to tell her I will no longer be delivering Avon to my territory and just ordering for family/friends/work colleagues. This will give me a few extra hours a week to get things done around the house earlier in the evening and hopefully more relaxation time to keep my stress levels down. I too suffer from anxiety & I get stressed very easily and I find that I then tend to do very little as opposed to trying to do lots in the little time I have which then builds on the stress until breaking point is reached. I’ve chattered on enough now lol but I shall return if I think of anything constructive to add!! Melvis xx

  2. katylittlelady

    Okay so my bit of advice may not be practical for everyone but I might as well add it!

    Reduce your work hours! I have as a result of illness. I’m not sure I ever would have done until I had children but my situation kind of forced it but it has benefited me in so many ways.

    I was very much a career woman before and had very little time to do the things I enjoyed whilst keeping up with work and house work. Now I work 25 hours a week and manage to fit everything in included exercise and hobbies!

    I realise it is not possible for everyone with their finances but I think a lot of people if they considered their situation more carefully would manage it. I never thought I could but am managing very happily.

    I’m sure there are lots of tips but this is my best one; if it is possible anyone who can should go for it!

  3. Hannah

    For ages I put off doing stuff with Bella just because I’m a lazy moo and found it easier not to do things – swimming, baking, craft etc. Anyway, I’ve started telling her now, eg. “Today its Monday and after school we’re going swimming.” Being accountable to someone, even a 6 year old!, gives me the motivation to follow-through with things. Instead of ‘forgetting’ it’s swimming day and staying on the sofa, I now know that if I really don’t want to go swimming I have to produce a pretty sound ‘excuse’. OK, where am I going with this?! On your new blog maybe share some of the bigger tasks you need to complete within the next couple of days, or whenever, and then the readers of it can gently encourage you to get it done? If you put stuff off, you’ll then have to ‘explain’ why you haven’t done it. Accountability is powerful. OK, so now this has started to sound like a lecture – I hope it make sense!
    Good Luck x

  4. Corrine

    Hey Zoe! My mum and Dad do a class at the gym 7pm every wednesday that’s based on Tai Chi. If I give you a pass (remind me!) you could try it for free- you just need to make sure you book for it as it’s really popular

  5. Ronnie

    My ideas for work with less stress:
    1. I have 2 lists at work – one ‘things that must be done now’ and two ‘things that must be done’ – it helps me prioritise and get things done in the correct order and forces me to do boring stuff
    2. When I am getting ready to go home, I decide what I’m going to when I first arrive at work and put this on a post it next to the computer, it’s normally a small job but important. I then put a star next to the things I want to achieve the next day from my to do list. The amount of stars will depend on the amount of teaching/planning (in your case, meetings) I have on that day – there’s no point having a list too big to achieve.

    I hope this helps! I’ll try and think of some more

  6. Ronnie

    Oh, in addition mum always used to make a list at the start of the week of the things she had on everyday and including ironing, dusting etc in that. Again she only wrote down as many jobs as was possible to get done. Do you remember? She used to leave it on the microwave?

  7. Jade

    As I’ve discussed with you before, I also go a little bit list crazy sometimes! The more lists that I have, and the more things that I have on my lists stress me out and I can’t get all of the things that I need to do out of my mind. Something that I have found useful is prioritising the things on my lists. My lists of things to do normally form a triangle shape- the things that are the most important go at the top of the triangle where there is less space (time) to do them, and those lesser important things go down towards the bottom where there’s more time to do them in. I tend to work through my triangle, pushing things up as they become more urgent. I find prioritising the best thing in these situations, it enables me to focus on the important things rather than worrying about ALL of the things that I need to do.

    This all may seem rather silly but hey, on the whole it works for me!

  8. mikey

    I would suggest first of all, do you have to do it all alone or are there others around who could take responsibility for tasks both at home and at work.
    Work…. Meet with your team (if you work within a team) decide within the team who should deal with different themes depending on their roles and strengths. For example emails are often duplicated and copied to multiple members of a team. Decide who will be responsible for responding depending upon the themes and if you are managing this team ask them to copy you in to their responses. Unless you work alone, share the burden and meet with your team regularly.
    The same at home, share tasks and responsibilities with family members. If you live alone its useful to have a daily chores list, i.e. monday kitchen clean, tuesday living room etc etc (as long as you don’t live in a mansion!) and if you miss a day because you want to go for a meal with friends/ read a magazine and lounge on the sofa/ paint your nails, don’t consider it a failure because its essential for your relationships that you are a happy, healthy person and that means sometimes lazing about and recharging. It is more productive to recharge sometimes than it is to have a shiny sink.
    Another thought may be not to count the number of things not achieved on your list but those that you have achieved.
    Maybe for a couple of weeks or a month while you’re trying to make this change keep the list handy and add effective things that you did that weren’t even on the list that you decided at the time took priority over the initial plans that you had made. This may help to put into perspective the things that you did not achieve that day. And if the list isn’t completed by the end of the day and nobody got hurt because of it, pat yourself on the back and plan to do it tomorrow.
    Finally, try to perceive the cycle of punishing yourself for inadequacies like you would with starting a diet or giving up an unhealthy habit. Some days you will succeed, other days you won’t but ultimately you’ll reach your goal.
    One last thing, plan into your day the fun things that you like to do so that your list isn’t just chores!

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