There are certain times when you’ll want to rethink how you’re managing your life, time and your stuff. This article will give you a list of when this is worth paying attention to, why it matters and what to think about.
What usually happens is that we end up in the middle of something and suddenly, we realize:
“Yikes. The house is a mess. Honestly, how did this happen?”
“My time is completely out of control.
But I’m using the same systems I always have.”
Think about a Red Door
In Feng Shui,the color red brings forth prosperity and abundance. When something in the list below happens in your life, imagine the red door.
Imagine the red door stops you for a moment, long enough to think about what you can do to manage life a little differently. And then when you’ve thought about that, walk through the door with an abundance of gifts to help you through whatever the big changes are.
With these changes in life, you’ll need to do some shifting to bring things back on a more even keel. The first step is to acknowledge that these changes are happening.
So, let the door stop you long enough to consider changes and then life on the other side of the door will be far easier.
When to Pause & What to Do
- Big life changes or events cause chaos, whether in your things, thoughts or time. Something big and likely emotional has happened, a change you made or one that was foisted upon you. Either way, now you have something new to contend with and integrate into your life. (Divorce, death, caregiving, marriage, children and so on.)
- You have guests: This can be friends or family in town for a few days or a longer visit. A temporary change, but think about it: your schedule will need to change; you’ll need to make space for people; you’ll need to be aware of their ‘stuff’ and where it shows up in your common living spaces; they will need things/time from you.
- The college-aged student or graduate returns home: You’ve lived the whole school year on your own, as has your student. Both of you more independent than when you last lived under the same roof.
- You take on new responsibilities in your business or at work: There’s a ripple effect here. You’ll need to get organized for this new responsibility. But also realize that by adding a role, you don’t add extra hours to your days, so something has to give. What could you cut back on, if not stop doing? How will you reorganize your days to accommodate the new role? If you’ve stepped up into a management role, your involvement in tactics will need to drop, as you take on a bigger picture perspective. What do you need to accomplish this smoothly?
- You get a new physical diagnosis: You’ll want to think about how the diagnosis may or has impacted your energy. Do you need to rearrange things at home/work to reduce the impact on your energy levels, making things easier to do? Do you need to reorganize meal planning? Reconsider how much you can fit into your days? What your morning routine looks like? If you have a diagnosis such as lyme or MS, you’ll have days when your energy levels will be unpredictable: always have a plan A and a plan B for your days.
- You get a new mental health diagnosis: As with a physical issue, here, too, you’ll need to work on different ways to handle this difference you’re now aware of. What does it mean for how you organize your days? Keep track of things to do? Are there more appointments (dr.’s, support groups, etc.) to add to your calendar? Are there accommodations you need to make at work? And how will you work through accepting that this is part of you and both manage it and manage around it.
- Fairly regular seasonal changes: The seasons, back-to-school, summertime starts or ends, vacations. Any of these transitions are a great time to stop and pause at your red front door. Some of us even have trouble transitioning into Mondays from the weekend. Pause, take your time and do something different on Mondays.
Why This Matters
- Simply pausing to acknowledge that something is different is BIG. This will help you stop and make some changes, so that the life event can be handled more easily and with less stress.
- Ignore this and things pile up: time wise, things, and yes, clutter in your thoughts and psyche.
- But also don’t hang on so tightly to how you have “always done things” that this resistance creates stress for you. Let go a little bit.
- Asking for what you need gives you a sense of more control over a time of change. Consider what you need that’s most important to your having a day you’ll feel good about by the end of the day (sleep, quiet time, meal times, together time, etc.).
- Dealing with people is more important than dealing with our things. If someone needed more than your usual emotional and psychological energy, give yourself guilt-free permission to take the necessary time to reset your home or otherwise get back on track.
- See if you can learn something from this time to apply to the next big life event, too. More control and sanity through learning.
- Any of these changes adds more to your life. And stress. So rely more heavily than you might on your “external memory.” (Calendar, lists, notes, and reminders.) Memory seems to be the thing that suffers a lot under stress.
Stop. Pause at the red door of prosperity and abundance. Figure out your next steps. And then walk on through that door, organizational strategies reset and ready to roll with whatever comes your way!
p.s. Please share this article if you know someone who is feeling overwhelmed, or invite them to talk with me about some next steps.