You’ve got a deadline looming. You are aware of it. But maybe there are other important things also with deadlines attached to them competing for your attention. You’ve been focusing on those other things to finish them. But the deadline for that ONE thing arrives and you are thinking, ‘Oh dear, what do I do, how do I start? Am I going to drop a ball?’
We all find ourselves in that position at times. It’s normal. I find myself in that position right now with this blog post. I have given myself the deadline to publish a blog post every two weeks on a Wednesday by noon UK time. I originally did it to instil discipline to create a habit. Sometimes I don’t reach the noon deadline, but I usually publish every two weeks on a Wednesday unless I’m on holiday.
But I sat here this morning wondering what to write about. I looked at my editorial calendar. The suggested topics on living with a long-term health condition I want to write about are great and interesting, but they require some more thought on my part. More thought for the time I have at present.
Time was clicking away so I decided I am going to give myself a break and just write about what is going on for me right now. This is a real time post, I’m writing as I think, so let’s scroll down to see how this evolves.
How I am giving myself a break
This is my thought process on how I am giving myself a break. I am still posting a blog, it’s just not directly related to managing a long-term health condition or serious illness/injury. Apply as much or as little of what is written here to your own situation.
What is the worst that can happen?
Really and truly, the worst. This is my ‘how to gain perspective’ question on an issue.
Will the world end?
Will you never read another post of mine again?
Will someone be checking up on me and at 12:01 ask where today’s post is?
Most likely not.
Will I post this by noon?
Maybe not. We’ll see. Check the time posted above to see if I made it.
Ok, we’ve established that the world will not end.
What am I learning
I noticed I felt ugh in relation to possibly not meeting the noon deadline. The ugh feeling is in my stomach. It’s like black string knotting itself together.
I love meeting a deadline and even being early. Even though I am trying to be quick, this blog is evolving and I am noticing I do not like to rush that evolving process. Interesting. I also still have the illustrations to draw. But maybe I will give myself another break and not draw them?
What I am learning about my learning
Important note: Reflecting on what you are learning provides double learning. It is reinforcing what you’ve learned and gives you more learning. Good stuff.
Notice how I got clear on what I was feeling in my body and my thought process in relation to missing the deadline. A key thing is that process of letting thing evolve, like a blog post, is important to me. Why that is, I do not yet know. But there is something about the time it takes or the time I am letting myself give to it.
I am thinking of my priorities and how I determine them. Using the importance/urgency grid is a favourite.
Tangent: The importance/urgency grid consists of four categories – important/urgent, not important but urgent, important but not urgent, not important/not urgent. Google this to learn more.
There is something about the importance element and how you determine what is important. For me, it’s where I feel I can live my values and use my strengths on something I really enjoy doing. I love writing. I love sharing what I learn with others in the hopes that they will find it useful to themselves in some way. If I’ve done that, I’m a happy camper.
Writing blog posts gives me that opportunity. And that may be the reason I like to give it the time to let the blog post evolve as I write it. So another learning is I need to schedule time in to flesh out my ideas on topics for blog posts.
But I don’t have tons of time right now as I have a meeting in central London on research related to Transverse Myelitis later this afternoon. (I’m a lucky lady. Research is my other love.)
Timing is another consideration. Some items can actually wait another day to be done.
Giving myself permission to take a break
This is the big one. And the one thing that many people, including myself, can fall down on. We simply do not give ourselves permission to do what we want to do and many times, know is darn good for us. It is a normal part of life, but important to be aware of. If we don’t give ourselves permission to take a break, we can run ourselves ragged. And if we are aware when we give ourselves permission to take a break and why, we are learning how to do that.
I established I wanted to write a blog today but that I didn’t have the time to write a meaningful post on a topic about managing one’s illness or health condition. I gave myself a break from writing on my usual topic. I gave myself permission to write on this topic instead.
I gave myself permission to miss the noon deadline, despite feeling ugh about it. But I can publish this post before leaving for my meeting. I am still going to draw the illustrations because that’s an important outlet of creativity for me. But I just may do two instead of the usual three.
I am noticing how knowing what is important to me figures in a lot here in regards to when I give myself a break and when I don’t.
I am also noticing how much I enjoyed writing this post using a very in the moment approach and how much I learned. On top of that, this is the least amount of time ever I spent on writing a post! Bonus! There is more learning in that I am sure. But you know what, I’m going to give myself a break. 😉
What’s it like for you?
How do you give yourself permission (or not) to take a break? What do you find easy or difficult about taking a break for yourself?
If this blog has sparked something inside you and you would like to explore how you can take a break for yourself more often, have a look at how we can work together and get in touch for a free no obligation consultation.
Pass it forward
Although these blogs are written in the context of living with serious illness or a chronic condition (but this post a little less so), the ideas contained within are applicable to everyone. So if you think a friend or family member would benefit from reading it, or you just want to share it with the world, share this post using the icons below.
I have started to research the concept of ‘acceptance’ within the context of long-term conditions and serious illness/injury. If you or a loved one experienced the onset of a long-term condition or serious illness/injury in the past 2 years and are struggling or wondering with what acceptance means for you, I would love to speak with you. Click here to find out more.
© Copyright Barbara Babcock 2016