Tuesday 8 November 2016

Hey everyone! Hope your week has gotten off to a good start!

I had planned for this months word to be FOCUSED but given that this post is already a day late going up, I felt focused wasn't quite right. Focused suggests a certain amount of goal setting and achieving. Of having a plan and sticking to it with absolute, well, focus. And while that sounds wonderful, and yes I would like some of that in my life, right now, having a strict plan, doesn't feel quite right for me.

Last month, as I've said was a real lull. A lull in energy and spirits and gumption, and to come out from a lull and immediately expect myself to get everything done on time and 'perfectly' would, I expect, be asking just too much. No doubt putting me at a pretty high risk of sending myself straight back down to the lull. So instead this month I'm going to focus on being intentional.

I know 'intentional' has been a bit of a buzz word this year but for where I am right now, I really feel like being a bit more intentional with my time will do me the world of good.

I've just taken on some Maternity Cover at work, which while technically is the same kind of work I've been doing is a whole new beast to get my head around. Slotting into somebody elses shoes and systems isn't going to be an easy task, and no doubt there will be a few hiccups along the way. I know I am capable of getting my head around this new project as well as the two others I run, I just need to make sure that I'm not constantly trying to juggle all my tasks at once. Not only does this mean having a big to do list, but it means making sure that when I set myself to one task, that is the only thing I am focused on. If I try to run all 3 projects at once I'll drive myself mental!

I also want to spend some time this month thinking about how my current job fits into the bigger picture. The last year or so I've been so immersed in the funding drama to keep my current projects going, that I haven't thought at all about what happens next. I still have a vague plan of where I want to be in 5/10 years etc. but that plan is more just an end point, with no real path plotted out. Maybe now that the funding drama is coming to an end, it's time to think about where I am and where I want to be, and how those two match up.

Being intentional isn't just about work and career though. I've been so distracted lately. In fact I tend to live my life a little distracted. Other than when I'm travelling I find it really REALLY hard to switch off. I'll be out with friends and I'll suddenly remember a work email I need to send. I'll be at work, and I'll start thinking about blog posts. I'll be blogging, and I'll start watching netflix. I'll start watching netflix and I'll be tweeting. My life looks a bit like somebody painted a big grid on a wall and somebody else came and smushed all the lines together. I know that's not my best simile but I am so tired of being and feeling blurred.

Last night I was meant to sit down and write this blog post. I was going to talk about how focussed I needed to be this month to get everything done but I was walking home from work, and for the first time in a long time, I was mentally exhausted just from sitting at my desk all day. I'd been so focused at work that while I felt this need not to miss ANOTHER Monday post, I knew that if I sat down to write at my laptop, not only would my post be as empty as my head felt, I'd soon get sucked in to checking my to do list and my emails, and the million and one other things I need to do. Because that's what being exhausted is like for me, I can feel completely and utterly drained, and yet on this complete high of having got stuff done. It's addictive, but it isn't always productive or healthy. 

Last night, I didn't want to write a half thought out blog post just for the sake of having "got it done" and I didn't want to take work home with me. So instead I sat, and intentionally did, nothing. Netflix was on, playing episodes of How I Met Your Mother, that I'd already seen a hundred times, and gradually my brain switched off. I didn't have to keep up with a plot line, and I didn't have to keep up with a to-do list, and it was exactly what I needed.

It isn't always possible to slot our life into tidy little lines on a spreadsheet, and I don't always thrive living by a timetable. My brain grabs inspiration for one thing, when I'm meant to be doing another, and I love that that is how I am. I don't want to switch that off. I don't want to cordon my brain off with notices that say 'work thoughts only here please' but equally I don't want to feel like my thoughts are constantly playing hopscotch. Jumping from one thought to the next with out paying attention to the squares it's landing on. This is why I keep a notebook by my side, so I can catch a thought and follow it later. This month I'm going to live by that notebook.

My to do list might not be complete, but tasks will be crossed off properly. My blogging schedule might not go to plan, but my posts will be ones I'm proud of. And evenings to myself might not be neat, or tidy, or even productive, but they'll be complete.

So here's to living intentionally, as cliched as that may be x

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