To New Strategies

July has been particularly hectic and August will calm down for a bit before Orientation. I've been trying different things in order to make progress on my massive to-do lists.

First, I closed Outlook. Just closed it. And it was a miracle. No more interruptions, no binging or flashing whenever I got a new message. There was a downside to this: my calendar also didn't interrupt me. I missed two appointments. So then I went into Outlook and turned off all non-calendar notifications. I know, I know: everyone says to do this. I thought it was stupid. I thought I wanted to know when I got a new email. Turns out, I don't care when I get a new email. I check it strategically throughout the day and I feel so much better.

My other "new" strategy is called "do one thing at a time". It's also not all that ground-breaking. In fact, it's what I used to do in grad school. Shut off the tv, close the browser, focus on reading, or writing, or researching. So now at work I choose an item on my to-do list and I do it. That's the only thing I do. If I realize there's something else that needs to get done, I open OneNote and add it to my list. I don't open Outlook. I close Tweetdeck. I literally do one thing at a time. And you know what? My to-do list started to shrink. When I left today, it's so manageable I'm actually looking forward to working on things tomorrow.

I'm also still trying to employ the "I am enough" motto. I wake up and push all of those negative "I wish" statements away and think "I am enough". I focus on being the best I can be that day. When I leave work, I think "I did enough" and try to convince myself that I worked on as much as I could. And then when the doubt starts to creep in at night, I try to remember "I am enough, I did enough, and tomorrow I'll work on being better".

So, my August challenge to you is to employ a new strategy or try a few different ones to see if you can make August more manageable. See if you can get one or two more items done. Or maybe, just do one more thing better. Small, baby steps. Small goals. Self love. You are enough.

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