Start an Urgency Junkie Detox Program

Day 15: Your Life Is Spiraling Out Of Control—Here’s How To Fix It

Are you someone who works best under pressure or thrives in a stressful situation?

Do you take pride in your great multi-tasking abilities?

Do you find yourself surrounded with drama queens or people just like you who run full throttle until they puke?

Most important, are you someone who avoids pain or disappointment by “getting busy?”

If you find yourself rushing around with a packed schedule, glued to your phone or email (or both!), filling empty time slots with activities to keep you constantly moving, then not only do your fit the bill of a modern day urgency junkie, you are slowly killing your soul, draining your creative potential and taking years off your life.

Humans need variety, but if you crave excitement yet struggle to be present with the people in your life unless there’s something to do, you will find it almost impossible to enjoy the simpler things in life.

I have five kids, three companies and 20 ideas a minute.

Like you, my ability to multi-task is my biggest strength and my biggest weakness.  Without a clear map of my life’s purpose, I frequently take my eye off the happiness ball and fill the void inside with finding more to do…with achieving.

Excitement is essential in life.  But, if you seek it, crave it and only feel alive because of it, you are teaching your body to run on an unsustainable fuel that will ultimately kill you.  (It’s also a sure fire way to end up alone.)

Start and End Your Day With 15 Minutes of Quiet Time

This is much harder than it sounds if you are a true urgency junkie. But, as they say, fake it until you make it.

Waking up 15 minutes earlier, sitting on the floor, listening to a quiet song and simply breathing is the best 15 minutes you can give your life, soul, and mind.  Telling yourself it is okay doing nothing is your first step toward a more balanced life.

Be protective with this time.  It is your space to do nothing, so give yourself permission to do so every day.  Even if it starts as a to-do, turn it into a must! (As Tony Robbins says, “If you think you can’t, you MUST!”)

If you can’t get yourself to commit to this, find 10 minutes during the day to sit, lie down and just breathe.  If you need to step outside your office or escape a stressful situation, okay, but make it happen.  After all, you are a person who gets it done, right?

Get Rid Of Your To-Do List

Is there anything more exciting (yet depressing) than your daily to-do list?  Think about it—it’s the birds-eye view to everything you can do and everything you can be!  If you are a true urgency junkie, nothing is more thrilling than making a giant list of things to accomplish, then check off one by one.  To an urgency junkie it’s a sign of a life well done, right?

You can look at your list of crossed off accomplishments, give yourself a gold star and say, “Look at me…I got it all done.

What is it, though?  Think of that vision board (is it collecting dust on your to-do list?) and ask yourself what your day has to do with your life?  What things on this list actually keep you from the life you desire and deserve? Even if you can’t take it to that level right now, try focusing on the project you must finish, not the tactical list that goes with it.  You must get clear with what you put on your list, and have confidence that it fits into the mission critical tasks to do.  If you have more then three of those in one day, you are setting yourself up for failure as you die trying.

To ensure success, be honest with yourself about what you can reasonably accomplish in a day and do ONLY that! 

 

Don’t Start Your Day With Email

This is the single easiest change to make NOW that will transform your day into a more productive and you-centric day than ever before. Not only should you avoid starting your day by seeing if anyone else needs anything, but you should limit the time you email to one-hour increments.

Before the fire drill of email starts driving your day, point your morning toward doing what’s most important to you.  You’ll find your life less stressful when you first put on your oxygen mask. Because you’ve placed yourself first, before getting sucked into helping someone else, you can stay focused on your personal goals of creating a better life.

Take a baby step to the new you and try to accomplish one thing before you open your email.

Once you allow yourself to open your inbox, protect your day even more by creating electronic files of would like to do soon, to read and to do someday. Drag non-mission critical emails there, and give yourself one day a week to filter through the shiny pennies that probably aren’t worth the effort.  If they are important, add them to your day when it’s right for YOU.  This focuses you toward what is important to YOUR life.

By setting aside new opportunities until you are ready—away from the thrill of the kill, opening and responding—only the most important opportunities will migrate into your life.  Let’s face it, when adrenaline is pumping through your veins, everything sounds great.

The quality of your life is in direct proportion to the quality of your relationships.  Even if the relationship is the one you have with yourself.  On the days when you happen to get everything done, take an assessment of the collateral damage.

Who were you short with because they got in your way?

What relationship suffered the most in order for you to get it done?

What conversation did you half-listen to because you only had 30 minutes to cross off another action item?

Take time to listen to those people you care about most.  If you struggle making small talk, ask better questions.  Even if you are bored, if you ask the question, the answer is more interesting.  Make eye contact, touch them, or even yourself, as you speak, and feel your feet on the ground.  It’s a simple technique, but it will help ground you and make you more present.

Being present is a potent antidote for urgency.  Taking a chill pill is a good thing, for everyone.

See each day as a new day of discovering new methods of enjoying the little things that blow by as you feed your habit.  No quick fixes exist, but start your journey by setting boundaries with the time you give to busy work, and recognize when you crave an external fix to feed an engine already operating in overdrive.

 

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Lori Taylor is a direct marketing specialist and personal development writer. Follow her on Twitter.

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  • http://hanofharmony.com The Vizier

    Hi Lori,

    I agree with you. Our ability to multi-task can be a strength and a weakness. We get so caught up trying to fill the void inside us that we lose focus on what is important around us. This is therefore an important post towards regaining equilibrium in our lives.

    I love how you suggest starting and ending your day with 15 minutes of quiet time. This will help you to regain some harmony in your life just before you start and end your day. Both are crucial times. The start determines how your day will turn out. The end affects your sleep at night. So it is crucial to carry out this exercise for your benefit.

    Limiting your time when it comes to checking emails is a very helpful tip. Many people have so many email messages to see do that just opening your inbox can raise your blood pressure. If you allocate certain times for your email, you will be more productive and efficient in seeing what must be done. This helps you to gain more control over your life.

    Relationships are one of the most important things in life. After all, without friends our lives would need more useless activity to fill the void because we don’t know what we are living for. Hence it is important to take the time and effort to maintain the relationships we care deeply about.

    Thanks for sharing this post!

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  • http://revmediamarkting.com Lori Taylor

    Thank you so much…I find your comments very insightful and thorough which is fantastic. We appreciate your support at pick the brain to make the community as interactive as possible.

  • http://www.collinsforsuccess.com Collins

    Hi Lori,It is always a pleasure and a reminder reading your articles.

    Your article has just remind me of my problem of Multi-tasking and impatience.

    Thanks ! I appreciate it.

  • sathouka

    Totally I agree whtat descripe. But in reality while situation come why person is not able to apply those theory.

  • http://flawlessconfidence.com Martin K.

    In my opinion “quiet time” is imperative to one’s happiness. If you can’t spend some time alone and just focus on your breath or your thoughts, you’re constantly nervous. And being nervous doesn’t help in anything!

    To-do lists are useful if you limit them to a few items. I would also suggest doing “not-to-do” lists to avoid multitasking.

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  • Jennifer

    Uggh this is happening to a friend of mine.  Today she texted me saying her life was spiraling out of control.  It was her last day at work at a very demanding job.  She is about to move, her youngest is leaving for college and she is about to start a new job.  I’ve been trying to connect with her for months.  No matter how loving I am via text or supportive — I get repeatedly shut out.   I keep telling her I am hurting as I feel our friendship disintegrating into nothingness.  I adored her, she was my mentor. 

    Sometime there is only so much someone can take.  You take them for granted and keep brushing them off.  That is the WORST thing you can do to someone.  Over a period of time it can cause the other person severe emotional pain.  There is always a polite way to say things.  Snapping at people, being short over and over is something you should never do to a friend who cared so much for you. 

    When you come out of your funk and decide to reach out and that person is not there anymore to hug you and be there for you in good and bad, all you have is yourself to blame.  I don’t understand how people can live with themselves treating others this way. 

    Take 5 minutes, call that person, let them know you care.  Don’t attack them when they come at you from a place of genuine care, love and support!   Those kinds of people are hard to come by and are a precious gift.  You may think you have it all, kids a family, etc. 

    Life can spiral out of control, but good friends….they are so hard to come by.  Take 5 minutes, call, check in and let them know you still care but that you have a lot on your plate.  Be upfront, give a time frame, not mixed messages like” we’ll get together, I promise!   And then never call.   Break the plans, say you will call and never do, etc. 

    We are all human.  When you are going through a bad time, your friends often suffer with you.  Lighten the blow for them.  Don’t let a friendship die.   If your mad, talk to that person, allow them to grow and learn.  Be compassionate, respect their dignity and be honest.   Don’t lie and make promises you cannot keep.  It only makes it worse for both people.