Rebellious Focus: The Gentle Rebel Ways to get things doneNov 23, 2022
Let’s talk about this problem we have of never quite getting around to doing the things we long to do. Of being overwhelmed by the managing of life - life admin, life maintenance and recovering from that so we can do it all again the next day…until we start screaming inside (and eventually outside) with this pent up resentment at never quite doing those things.
When this first happened to me I fell for the old trap that if only I was more organised then I’d have time for myself and the things I wanted to do (and also that if I got to do those things I would feel magically better.)
Neither turned out to be true.
Firstly, the better I got at getting things done by hacking my productivity, the more other people asked me to do. I became the go to person to get things done. It’s seductive being that person that everyone else knows they can rely on. But it's a trap that keeps you in this tiresome circle of never quite having enough time and space for yourself.
Secondly, even when I did manage to squeeze some time for myself and do the things I longed to do - it was never enough time and didn't feel like I thought it would.
Yes, that spa day was wonderful. But life hit me at a million miles an hour afterwards and during it I found it really difficult to let go and be fully present. You know - you're enjoying a long awaited massage and then realise you spent the whole time problem solving a work or home issue. Or trying to figure out how you could have this experience more often. Or judging yourself and your life for not prioritising yourself more. Bla bla bla the mind rambles on distracting us from the very lovely thing we have been longing for - the thing we thought would make the difference to how we feel about our life, even for a short period of time.
So what’s to be done then?
I believe we need to approach things differently - The Gentle dRebel Way.
If we start with what is the first premise and The Morning Promise (the daily reminder ritual to start the day intentionally):
The Gentle Rebel commits to herself first - to living her life her way.
From there we can tease out two really important things about how we get things done:
Firstly, when you commit to yourself first this decides the priority of the things that are cramming for attention in your life.
Secondly, you commit to finding a way to get the most important things done in a way that works best for you.
These might seem small adjustments (they are, that’s the point of it being a gentle rebellion with no wild repercussions) but when implemented moment by moment they can have a profound effect.
So, how do we do this?
Step One is to commit to yourself first - to finding out how to do things your way. To getting curious about what that might look like at this point in time and in this season of your life (because everything changes - there is no one right way for all time and there is freedom for you in knowing this to be true).
Step Two is to get some clarity over what's going on for you at the moment. Because you can only start where you are and most of the time we try to start from where we think we ought to be or lag behind ourselves under a heavy weight of judgement and disappointment.
Messy Journaling (on paper or in your mind) over what you're currently spending your time doing and not doing and Neutrally Noticing how this feels will give you some clarity. Especially if you don't aim for complete clarity. I noticed I stopped myself writing ‘getting clear’ for this very reason - complete clarity rarely comes and when it does it kind of tends to flash in and then disappear with slipperiness as we try to cling to it. So get messy and curious - and if you can - playful. Playfulness is a superpower worth developing because it makes everything feel lighter and less overwhelming and often presents us with unexpectedly lovely solutions.
Next I would brain dump everything on your to do list. This might take a while - like days even so go easy. And again don't expect it to be complete and perfect. It's just a list and if you take too long over it you’ll see how fast everything changes as stuff moves off the list and more stuff comes.
Next, take your messy brain dump list and if you like coloured highlighting grab your pens (if you don’t decide your own coding method) and highlight the stuff that you love doing, tha you long to do, that energise you, that is easy, that is fulfilling, that just feels good to have in your life (whether you're getting around to doing it or not).
Then code the stuff you hate, dislike, resent doing, wish wasn't on your life, makes you feel heavy hearted and miserable.
The stuff that’s left is the beige meh stuff. It exists on this list at this point in time but you have no strong feelings about it.
Then look at your (now very messy) list and notice how you feel. Then Neutrally Notice how you feel about how you feel. Drop the judgement. Notice the shoulds, oughts and musts. Notice the guilt, shame and resentment. Notice the clarity, ease and excitement. Notice it all completely naturally as if it were all the same - just useful information to help you find your way of doing things.
This is The gentle rebel way of getting things done. Committing to yourself first to living your life your way. Getting some clarity on what's going on for you at the moment by having a messy delve into all the stuff that is asking to be done.
From here you might have already started doing the next step. You can cross out the stuff you're ready to let go of. You can demote the stuff that no longer feels so urgent. You can ask for help for the things you are shouldering alone but have realised you dont need to. You can give back the tasks that were never yours in the first place. You can remove the impossible ones that you can't actually do anything about. You can postpone the non urgent and see how you feel about them at a later date. You can have useful conversations with others.
And then having dared to clear some space for yourself you can gently but firmly start to occupy that space. You can decide to do some of the things that light you up. You can have more choice over the things you choose to get done each day.
My advice would be to go gently. This is not a one off experiment. It's a gentle process of finding your way to living your life in a way that feels like home to you instead of a constant struggle to have space for yourself in your own life.
Because how can there not be space for you in your own life?
I hope you've found this blog helpful. Please do share it with anyone you think might be grateful to read it.
And if you'd like support in getting things done The Gentle Rebel Way I’m here for you. Please email me at [email protected] or book a chat to discuss what working together might look like for you.
Episode 144 & 145 of The Overwhelm is Optional podcast discuss this topic.
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