Sometimes life’s hard. So what. Next!

So, I’ve been missing in action for some lately and my initial response was that I just didn’t have time. Well that doesn’t fly, not to me, and I wouldn’t expect it from anyone else. I mean how could I expect that to be a reasonable excuse after posting an entire blog on calling BS on just that! Let’s explore.

As you might imagine, when you are studying at Uni, running a company, moving to a new house, dealing with health issues and trying to have some form of social life (Hello, I’m not missing out on Game of Thrones!) There’s a lot of room for things to just not go as planned. I found in the past two weeks, it all just got a bit too much and it was my Uni work that took a backseat.

As I’m starting to get myself together again, I’m reflecting on the poor time management skills I employed to get me through the rough. There was no reason I shouldn’t have been able to read a few short journal articles and written a short 1000 word assignment and still enjoyed my game of thrones. So what went wrong? In two words, INTRINSIC MOTIVATION.

I solely rely on my own pleasure of achieving the best results I can, helping people the best I can and managing my time the best I can, but when the balancing act begins to fall, depression can really change the way your mind works. Your life spirals out of control bouncing from one reactive task to another, putting out fires until you give up and let everything burn. It takes strength to recognise one’s faults and move forward to mitigate further impacts, and not everyone can do it.

What have I learned from this and how can others learn from this?

  • Use extrinsic tool(s) to focus on the bigger picture in terms of goals and priorities. This could be as simple as a reliable friend, a phone app, a white board or a vision board to remind you of your goals, priorities and to track progress.  When your brain lets you down, these kinds of extrinsic motivation tools can help decide what is important and what is not.
  • Reach out for help sooner rather than later. It’s amazing that we independent people think we can do it all. It is also amazing how much someone can help with such seemingly little effort if given the right timeframe to prepare and do so. Asking a friend to help move a fridge five minutes before you hand back your keys is not ideal.
  • Keep your Pride in check. No-one is perfect, so we shouldn’t be so hard on ourselves when we fail. We should embrace and learn. We haven’t failed if we haven’t given up, we just might need to ask for help or take a deep breath and try again.
  • Don’t sweat the small stuff. Especially if it does not relate to or effect goals and priorities. This may or may not relate to Pride. I cringe and nearly cry when I reflect over the stupid things I’ve said and done in the past. It’s an important skill to learn to breath, learn and move past it. It’s been done, own it, it’s in the past, and hopefully we are all better people today than we were yesterday.

I hope this venting of my experience is helpful to others as I can only imagine we all struggle from time to time.

If you have any further thoughts, recommendations or comments, feel free to post in the comments below or reach out on twitter.

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