I’ve learned the hard way, on days that will be slammed with 100001 tasks and a deadline, to relax, begin my day well, and start late.
Start late?!?!?!?! Sound counterintuitive? Sound counterproductive? Hear me out.
When you have *that* to do list, your body enters into “panic” mode – that fight-or-flight mode that triggers a chain reaction in your body, pumping cortisol, adrenaline, and other powerful life-saving brain chemicals into your body … except your life isn’t in danger. Your brain has been tricked.
When you start from that place, in a full tilt-tilt-tilt mindset, it seems like you’re juggling flaming chainsaws all day long while alligators nip at your knees and occasional pianos fall from the sky and try to land on you, just like in the cartoons. You get practically NOTHING done, and those few things you accomplish are barely adequate. You’re not functioning in any semblance of your state of brilliance.
It’s time to un-trick your brain, and here’s how. RELAX and begin from a place of REST. Rest is the position God created you to live from. Don’t work TO your reward, work FROM that place of reward.
I got up this morning, knowing that looming to do list… and I set it aside. I did things that relax me and help me unwind. I made a nice cup of coffee, took the dog out, spent time in the Word, caught up on social media, rubbed Ken’s back down with Wintergreen, Birch, and Douglas Fir, and then went and took a 30-minute shower complete with sugar scrub, facial, deep conditioning, and Immortelle serum. It’s a yoga pants day, too.
Now I’m relaxed. I feel refreshed. It’s nearly 9am and I haven’t begun work yet, but that’s ok. Did you know that Parkinson’s Law states that work expands to fill the amount of time allotted to it? That’s another awesome brain trick – give yourself adequate time, but less than you THINK you need (assuming tasks will take forever triggers procrastination which triggers shame which triggers fear, which shuts you down).
When I do begin work, I’m going to start up something nice in the diffuser (Douglas Fir and Wild Orange for today), and I’m going to prioritize that to-do list. There’s a couple of things that HAVE to get done. They’re mission-critical tasks. They’ll get knocked out first. Then everything else can come after.
What could have been chaos becomes the perfect day. It becomes a part of Living The Essential Life.