This year has brought about a lot of changes for me. I have been seeing my career grow and my hard work paying off. It is a slow process in the beginning, but it is one of those things that, as long as I kept pushing, the more momentum I gained. I am thrilled to see this progress. One thing I have begun to notice, which I have written about previously here, is that the more I see success, the more grace I allow myself. I let myself slow down and step away from time to time.
Currently in northern BC, we are experiencing a heat wave and, as a result, we have seen a few wildfires start in the area. I have been trying (sometimes it feels like in vain) to keep my lawn and flower beds alive throughout this. And I realized that it is kind of a perfect analogy.
The grass starts to dry out, turn a bit brown, no longer that beautiful lush green. Once the sun starts to lose the heat of the day I water it and hope that it will revive. I don’t throw water on it while the heat is strong because this only burns the grass. Just like if while in the heat of work, in the middle of a project, I was to try and take a break it would only burn me: I would fall behind or, at least, I would feel like I was falling behind. And so I would not be able to enjoy that time away for a moment. Instead, if I wait until the project is done or at least come to a natural stopping point and then allow myself some time to recharge, I am able to soak up the time and get more out of it. Just like the grass that gets burnt from the water in the heat and yet it revitalizes it when you wait for the right time.
Everything has timing and cycles, and the best way to be efficient without burning yourself out is to learn these cycles and understand what is going to revitalize our minds without incidentally causing more damage.
Everyone has times throughout the day where they are most efficient. For me, it is first thing in the morning. I can get focused quickly (post coffee, of course) and I find I am the most productive. The afternoon tends to be a bit more chaotic so I try to plan accordingly: tasks that need more attention to detail tend to get completed first. Things that I can work on while also allowing myself to be pulled away to other timely tasks get pushed to the afternoon, and evening is when I give myself time to catch up on anything that got brushed aside during the day.
The evening is also when I allow myself grace, just like watering the grass later in the day. If the tasks that I didn’t finish can be bumped to the next day without causing havoc then I will look at doing that and allowing myself time to unwind. But it is important not to let tasks build up, not to push anything to the next day if it is going to cause an insurmountable list, because that is like trying to water the grass when the temperature is soaring above 30 and will only cause more damage.