Learn to distinguish your top priorities and stick to them

I’m a little overwhelmed right now in the sense that I want to talk or write about something but I can’t really zero in on a topic. It’s kind of like that love entry I kept trying to write a thousand different ways. I realized that speaking from the heart no matter how many times it takes is more effective than forcing yourself to conform to some type of standard or restrict your flow in any way. Knowing that, maybe an amorphous writing bout is what’s needed to help me get my thoughts organized and on paper. I think the most important part is that I write when ideas are flowing and stop when they’re not.

That said, I’ve been thinking about the path I’ve been walking for some time. I know it’s the right way for me to go, but the future really scares me because I’m just not used to doing uncertainty. However, I do believe and know that embracing a certain level of uncertainty is a mark of bravery and it’s the only way to truly grow.

Even still, it’s difficult not to get overwhelmed and I sometimes find myself trying to do several things at once and end up paralyzed. That has to stop. The road isn’t always going to be a linear one, but you can’t produce quality work if you’re trying to do a thousand things at once. I felt like I got to a point where I was just trying to push things out into this blog without waiting for that moment of utter inspiration. That’s not joy. That’s not happiness.

In traveling down this road or path I’m on, I’m seeking to work in the environment in which I am happiest (and technically most knowledgeable) and share that happiness and knowledge with you all. In other words, I’m going through this so you might not have to.

At the end of the day, I think the message I wanted to relay to you all the most through this entry is that you must trust in your process, whatever it is, because it is YOUR process. You know what’s best for you and what isn’t. When you’re at a crossroads, take a step back and seek help and guidance from those who have traveled the road you intend to go down. Take things one step at a time if you must. In all honesty, I wouldn’t recommend doing more than three things of focus at once. If you want to tack some thing new on, drop something else for the time being. Always take quality over quantity.

Remember to take a step back and breathe. Ask yourself what you want to do, not what you should do. If the answer you give yourself is wide and unclear, break it down into smaller segments that are more easily managed. For instance, I was trying to study for my personal trainer certification, train myself with what I learned, manage this blog without inspiration, research as many miscellaneous topics on fitness and nutrition as possible, find books to build my confidence, and on top of all of that work full time as a software engineer at a job I’m unhappy at. There’s a lot going on there.

When I asked myself what I should do, here’s the answer my brain gave me:

  • Everything and MORE

When I asked myself what I truly wanted to do:

  • Study what makes me happy (become a personal trainer)
  • Apply what I’ve learned (train myself as much as possible)
  • Remain financially solvent for as long as possible (continue working as a software engineer)

That means that everything else I do comes after all of those things. Essentially I needed to put my priorities back in order. Three is a magic number for me. Maybe one or two is yours. Maybe there’s science to how much a human being can focus on at once. At the end of the day everybody is different and works at different rates. Only you can know how many goals you’re capable of obtaining in tandem comfortably. Be honest with yourself and let your past be the judge. It doesn’t help you to produce work that doesn’t make you happy.

With what I did above you can see I broke down my goals into simple actionable steps that can be accomplished so I can move onto my next goals. All it took was a little step back and one honest question. What do I want to do? Stay away from terms like “should” and “should not.”

And look what happened as well! This entry was created and I wasn’t even trying to. I was just trying to get my thoughts together. If it flows, let it flow. Don’t try to force inspiration.

Author: Robyn

All great things start with a leap of faith.

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