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Caregivers are actually really good at hectic and don’t do well at “simply your life”. In using the 12-Week Year, I have learned to put one thing on my plate, do it, and then go to the next thing. I do not put more than one thing on my “to-do” list or I become overwhelmed.
We like being busy, and most of the time, we think lots of things will mean we get lots done. In truth? Too many things on a list can “freeze” us into inactivity.
Do You Choose Chaos?
When this happens, any extra chore becomes “chaos”, but is this in our best interest?
Yes, we thrive on something to do but it overwhelms us. It overwhelms our focus. Oftentimes, our members come to us when controlled chaos turns into complete craziness.
They start dropping balls and feeling powerless. They start waking up in the middle of the night and can’t get back to sleep again and feel like they’ll never get caught up.
Worse, it affects our relationships. “How?”, you ask. It’s simple. We no longer have the energy or time to set our own boundaries. We start saying “yes” to things we should say “no” to. We would rather let it go than argue with the person. Pretty soon, we find we have no control in the things we want.
And honestly, that’s always when we know we need to slow our minds down and start simplifying.
But luckily, we’ve all been there before, and we know we’ll be there again, and we also know exactly what steps we need to take when life starts to feel like it’s spinning out of control.
So here’s what we tell our members:
5 Ways to Regain Control
- What is bothering you the most right now? Always start with the solution in mind. You cannot concentrate on the problem but look for all the multiple solutions and only focus on them. The rest will fall into place, then execute. As the 12-Week Year plan taught me, keep working on a solution until I find one. Don’t stop at the first failure and say, “It didn’t work.” Finish the job now.
- Start saying no. Learning to say NO can be ever so hard. Start by learning to say “Let me think about it.” This buys you time to get your wits together. As caregivers, we often want to please others, but this comes at a cost.
- Prepare your day the night before. Most of our members read our articles or listen to our experts in the evenings. Plan tomorrow before you go to bed. Put “my time” in first. We know that as caregivers, once your senior wakes for the day, you hit the road running.
- Don’t let distractions grab you into the deep black hole. Cancel your cable and delete social media from your phone. Yes, I’m serious! The reality is that most of us lose a LOT of time every day watching TV, not to mention all that time spent scrolling through social media! And when we’re not really keeping track, that 15 minutes here and 30 minutes there adds up to a lot of time that could be better spent elsewhere.
- Get a better handle on your finances. The truth is that money affects everything else we do in life, which means that if your finances are not where you want them, it wears you down.
Simplify your life by “Execution”.
You know what your problems are. You know the solution. All you have to do is execute or “do” your solution. If the first one doesn’t work, then “try, try again”.
He famously explains that the to-do list is not urgent enough like our vacation departure. Teaching us to use a 12-week year enhances our abilities to get problems solved and move on to the rest of our lives.
This frees us up from letting these things hang over us like a heavy wet wool blanket.
Our lives brighten.
Our steps quicken.
And every evening? Solutions are in place and I sleep better.