Sometimes, Something’s Gotta Give…

by Gurpreet Sihat

Since my very first #MondayMotivation post, I’ve been obsessed with Heather Stillufsen’s work. I’ve used her sketches on social media, website posts, e-mails to friends, family and colleagues and one of my planners this year was a signed copy of her Live Life in Full Bloom. So, at the start of November, when I saw this: 

I knew I needed to take a step back and really prioritise what I was doing. 

November was perhaps the most difficult month of the year for me. Everything that could go wrong, went wrong! I had a never ending To Do List; of a bottomless pile of work for clients; a whole heap of admin piling into my inbox on a daily basis; a daily word count from NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) which was growing alarmingly high; and I had health issue after health issue. By the second week of November, I was so overwhelmed that I was slipping off the edge of the cliff. 

I’d made the terrible mistake of trying to use November as my thirty-day intense planning and reflection month. This involved planning each day to the T, reflecting on it for about an hour and a half at the end of each day, and then doing an even more detailed reflection at the end of each week. While I agree that it’s important for people who work from home to understand where you’re spending the most time, instead of helping me find ways to become more productive and efficient, it was actually keeping me at my desk for longer and stressing me out! I made it up to November 8th and it was the first thing I decided needed to go.

The second was this website! The very first time I received an e-mail telling me that one of my posts had helped someone else, I knew that this website needed to receive some more TLC, not less. But how many times have we all been told that you can’t fan someone else’s flames when you’re all burnt out. That was a big lesson for me in November. I cannot help people when I, myself, am on the edge. So the website went. 

One by one, other things in my life started going too. Things that could have been put off, were put off. Things that could have been delegated, were delegated. I’m lucky to have an incredible support network – from family to friends to colleagues – all who were right there, arms open wide, saying “right, tell me where to start”.

By taking a step back and accepting that sometimes something’s gotta give, I have lessened the pressure on myself. My health issues are getting better, my To Do List is shorter, my mood is higher. And now, with the arrival of December, come those final four weeks of the year. The time where the final chapters of books get drafted, Christmas dates are pencilled into your diary, and plans for the new decade begin. 

Last month, I was slipping off the edge of the cliff. This month? I’m on the top of the world. 

Big hugs and lots of love to the incredible Heather, for the reminder that I so desperately needed, and to all of you out there, reading this, and needing that one little reminder: 

Sometimes, something’s gotta give…  

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