Manageable Chunks

One of the hardest parts of blogging is not over-sharing. Actually, I think that’s sort of the hardest part of living. I always wrestle with this concept- you want to tell people enough about you so that you feel connected and supported, but you also don’t want to be that person. You know, the acquaintance that you haven’t seen in five years but run into at Trader Joe's and all of the sudden they’ve told you their deepest darkest secrets when you really just wanted to get some cheap bananas? I mean that hasn't happened to me exactly, but you know what I mean.

I run into this problem at work all of the time. I teach my students for two years in a row, as juniors and seniors. I want them to respect me as their English instructor, but I also want them to see me as a human who has emotions and has had experiences outside of the classroom. There’s a line, though, and I constantly have to decide what’s okay to divulge and how. I think I do a pretty good job of sharing parts of my life with them, and in return they do the same with me. If you want people to work for you they have to feel emotionally invested on some level.

So, basically, this has been one long preface to say that there have been some really heavy things going on in my life for several months, which is part of the reason why things have been quieter around here and sometimes lacking substance (or at least that's what it feels like to me). Because of the whole boundary concept, I can’t really divulge what’s up, but I will be okay and life will work out, eventually.

Because of this I’ve really had to put safeguards in place to protect, well, my sanity. I’ve been feeling bogged down emotionally but also with the sheer volume of things that need to get done between work and home. I haven’t lightened my load in terms of any of these things or with doing things on the weekend and whatnot. Sometimes I feel like there isn’t enough caffeine in the world to get me through life. I resist relying on others for any sort of support and I also refuse to stop adhering to the whole "fake it 'til you make it" mentality on a day-to-day basis. 

So, in response to this, I’ve really started practicing what I preach to my students: you have to create manageable chunks.

Yesterday this concept drove my entire day and I was able to get so much done. I’d clean for thirty minutes, spend thirty minutes doing puzzles with Sawyer, grade for thirty minutes, go back to cleaning, etc… and by the end of the day everything was crossed off my list. Being productive makes me feel better, so it was a win-win. I felt better and more on top of things that I had in a really, really long time. 

I’ve been using this concept for bigger things as well. When I was doing all of the HELOC paperwork I was pretty stressed out. I felt in over my head at times and was worried I’d missed something in the documents. In order to combat this, I assigned myself a task every day- answer an email to the loan officer, discuss the solar panel balance with the credit union, ask my accountant brother-in-law for clarification on items, etc…. This week I have a ton of insurance claim paperwork to deal with, complete with tracking down some stupid billing codes, so each day I am going to chip away at a different chunk.

Really, it's sort of a lifestyle, if you think of it. Manageable chunks- if you tackle things slowly and methodically, bit by bit things will happen. 

I highly recommend it. 

1 comment:

  1. Love this approach. I’ve been trying to work this way too without consciously realizing it. I’ve started tackling some projects on my to-do list for literally years this way. Like getting up to date on photo books. Admittedly those have taken more than just a half hour at a time, but I’ve been basically telling myself over and over, stop telling yourself you can’t or don’t have time and just start. Get a chunk done, make some progress and eventually I can check it off my list. And MAN does that feel good when I get to the end :)