We have an energy crisis.
No, not that one.
The one that is happening inside most human beings on this planet.
Not enough energy to get shit done.
And there’s lots of shit to do. Our lives are full. We are busy. Most of us are over-scheduled, over-committed, and generally stressed right the fuck out.
I thought so.
Why is this happening?
There is a list as long as my arm of reasons why people lack energy. For my purposes today, I am going to focus on planning. Or the general lack thereof.
You don’t have enough energy to get shit done because you are not planning.
When you have ten billion things going on in your life and you aren’t making a plan as to how you are going to navigate it, you will spend most of your time putting out fires, dropping balls, rushing, and generally running around like a chicken with your head cut off.
Not such a fabulous use of your energy.
As a result, you are stuck in chronic overwhelm. How are you ever going to get it all DONE? The secret answer that you really don’t want to hear is that you won’t. Done is not a thing. You won’t be done till you’re dead. Cheery, I know, but true. Which leads to the inevitable next thought that if I won’t ever get it all done then I won’t ever escape this feeling, so WHAT NOW? OMG! *cue anxious spiraling thoughts, sweaty palms, and that pukey feeling you get when you realize you’re fucked*
This is called an energy leak. This overwhelm. All these thoughts, all this worry, all this stress is a great big fat puncture in your life that is pouring out energy. The very energy you need to get all the shit done, so to speak.
To make things more fun, when you are in overwhelm, the last thing you think you have time for is taking care of yourself. You’ll sleep when you’re dead, amiright?
The way out of this spiral is planning and self-care. Knowing how you want to feel and making a plan to take action every day to cultivate those feelings.
Now, I realize that I am sounding a bit preachy here, but the truth is I know all of this because I have been there. Overwhelm sucks. And there is a chronic cultural message that if you are not overwhelmed, you aren’t doing it right.
I call bullshit.
Overwhelm is survival mode.
You don’t want to just survive, do you?
I didn’t. I wanted to THRIVE.
I just didn’t know how.
What the hell does this have to do with writing?
Well, if you are in overwhelm, drowning in your to-do list, chances are that you aren’t going to feel terribly creative. And even if you do manage to sit down at the keyboard, you aren’t going to do your best work. That takes focus, mental space, and some sort of clarity.
You don’t have any of those things when you are in overwhelm.
I didn’t either.
In the podcast, I am going to talk about how to begin to take the baby steps out of the tornado of insanity, and towards the calm clarity that is so possible. Find it on Spotify.