I’ll tell you a little secret that will stun you: I used to be on top of things. Yeah, I know, right? Me? Organized? Hard to believe.
But it’s true. For years there, my to-do list wasn’t so long as to overwhelm me to the point of near paralysis. I was actually efficient. Stuff got done. All my trains ran on time.
I don’t know when I started losing my grip and slowly sliding toward the whirlpool of utter chaos, but here I am. It seems as though staying organized is like treading water. You can’t ever slack off, even for a minute, or you start to sink. And once you start sinking, it’s a lot harder to get your head above water again.
One trick I’ve had to learn over and over and over again is not to give chaos the recognition it craves. Once you’ve done that, it engulfs you. It’s just too much. You become convinced that you’re never going to see your way clear.
No. The trick is to focus on one thing. Just one little thing. Do that. Feel that sense of accomplishment? That’s your superpower. The more you feel that, the more you’re able to do. A friend of mine calls this keeping your eye on the shovel. The shovel. Not the great steaming pile of… stuff that needs shoveling. And before you know it, the mound is a manageable size.
I’ve been really sick for about a month, so I’ve been feeling more paralyzed by inactivity than normal, but the other day I finally got done one thing that I had been putting off for months, and man, was that ever a fantastic feeling! And that gave me the strength to do something else. And I really feel a lot better now.
There’s still a ton of stuff to do. There always will be. But I feel like I’m coping again.
I just have to remember that just as you should never look down when you’re afraid of heights, you should also never look chaos in the eye. He does not have your best interests at heart.