IT’S ALL COMING AT YOU AT ONCE.
The dishwasher needs emptying. The kitchen still isn’t cleared up from lunch. The kids are jumping up and down for your attention. One’s desperately trying to show you a drawing and the other is asking for help with their game.
You’re trying to listen to podcast in the background, one headphone plugged in. And your mind is completely on yesterday’s meeting that bombed.
Your head feels like it’s going to explode. There’s just too much to process, and no-one is winning, you least of all.
Something is about to flip and you can hear yourself about to shout at the kids to give you some space. ‘ONE AT A TIME’ and then you think screw it, the dishwasher will have to wait.
But you hate interrupting a flow and you know there will be a raised eyebrow if you don’t get it done like you promised. Along with that list of other things queuing up for your attention.
It gets this way routinely. Too many balls to juggle and trying to fit it all in. You can feel the tension rising within. That frustration that’s about to erupt as you’re too thinly spread.
And when it does, after the wave breaks, the guilt. Feeling bad. Realising it wasn’t anything to do with your kids. Or the dishwasher. Or the meeting.
I’ve been in this place many times. Trying to do too much at once. Thinking I’m giving my all, but actually giving (and getting) very little from the experience.
It’s a vicious cycle, where no-one wins.
If you find yourself routinely tipping into overwhelm or anger or even paralysis, then here’s what I have found can help.
Take a breath. Slow down. Listen to that deeper knowing to identify ‘what is most important right now?’
Maybe it’s just acknowledging your daughter’s drawing or game.
Maybe it’s gently checking in with them and saying you’ll be over in a minute when you’re done.
Maybe it’s making an agreement with your family that you will be listening, uninterrupted, to a podcast for 30 minutes.
Whatever it is, focus on that. Then the next thing. Then the thing after that.
One step at a time. Not juggling all the plates. Just the one if front of you right now.
If this is a challenge you have, drop me a line. I'll happily brainstorm some approaches with you tailored to your circumstances.