Like everyone, I get overwhelmed too. Lots of options, possibilities, and tactics to consider for my work, family, passion, business, training, routines, books, and sometimes even music! And it does get stressful at times, so much so that I keep wondering why do I keep making my life miserable. But that’s just another day at the office. It’s chaotic and can seem out of control at times.
But that’s where my coaching experience comes in handy. Sure, I do use my coach to get me unstuck every now and then but when he’s not around I have to self-coach my way out of a rut or two.
One of my biggest challenges is managing multiple moving parts. It’s a way of life for me, so reducing the number of moving parts isn’t really a viable solution unless you would like to see me depressed and highly disoriented. The key is to figure out what to prioritize and what not to. And trust me, even someone like me who helps coach managers and leaders can struggle with this.
My favorite question for distressed coaches experiencing turbulence in their lives is simply — what would you like to happen? The question slows down one’s thinking almost instantly, in a good way. The thought process becomes more deliberate and hence, more meaningful to the objective at hand.
And each time I ask this question myself, I am compelled to stop everything and write down my ideal day in my notebook. Just the stuff that I want to be doing, which leaves out a boatload of elements that I would rather not do. In almost all cases, these tasks could either be delegated or be avoided by simply choosing not to do. Of course, there are aspects that cannot be ignored because of the dependencies and what’s at stake. I get it. I idea is to be deliberate, not reckless.
So, if you’re stuck or confused, it’s important that you slow down that racy mind of yours and focus on the absolute necessities. Just the things that you actually want to do. You can leave out all the rest. At least for now on paper. It’s liberating to realize the possibilities open to you and the choice you can make to simplify life.
The clarity this simple exercise brings to beyond words. And all you need to do is ask a question.