Everything On Your Plate is Something You Ordered

bestself business May 04, 2021

Whenever I feel overwhelmed with the number of things I'm trying to do simultaneously, I remember something I heard from my Mastermind group .... EVERYTHING THAT'S ON YOUR PLATE IS SOMETHING YOU ORDERED.

This is such an obvious statement yet when it comes to managing my life as an entrepreneur, aspiring author, public speaker, friend, daughter, stepmom, auntie, neighbor, and more, I get lost in a sea of overwhelm constantly wondering how anyone can possible accomplish everything.

I know you hear me! I know you too are balancing life as a bad ass boss, a wife, a mother, a daughter, a sister, a friend, and so much more. Every single day you are expected to show up for your life in vibrant ways.  And, if you’re going through divorce on top of everything else, you’re also dealing with intense emotions that come and go without warning.

Here's the thing, when you go to a restaurant the food they serve on your plate is exactly what you ordered. In an upscale restaurant when you order a steak medium rare, you get a steak medium rare.  Your sides are a la carte, you order those separately.  If you’re in a neighborhood joint and you get a veggie burger with fries, you get the veggie burger with fries.

I know what I’m getting when I order a meal.  Why is it then that when it comes to my to-do list I feel overwhelmed as though I don’t feel like I ordered all of this.

We sometimes don’t accept the implications of what we’re taking on.  Here’s the good news – you don’t have to keep doing all of it!  You don’t have to try to keep up with the insane number of tasks that life is trying to throw on top of you.   

Every day look at your Top 5 tasks, nothing more.  I know, I know, your life requires more than five important tasks.  Mine does too.  But here’s the reality, most people can only do five tasks really well in a given day.  On my most productive days, I write my list of the Top 5 and do “pomodoro” sessions.  This is a simple technique for increased productivity.  Set a timer for 25 minutes, turn your phone on silent, focus only on one task until the timer buzzes.  If you need more time, set the timer for another 25 minutes.  In between pomodoro sessions, take your breaks to get up and walk around, eat something, etc.  During your pomodoro session you are solely focused on the task at hand (until the kids knock on the office door, right?). 

My message is to get really conscious about what you’re taking on during any given day.  Many of us are taking on too much and not able to really breathe into our recovery at the same time.  If you’re feeling this way, you’re not alone.

Think about your TO-DO list as a list of items you deliberately ordered on your plate. When you feel overwhelmed, remember, unlike in a restaurant, you can change your order! You don't have to "eat what's on your plate" in real life. You are in charge of deciding where you spend your time.

What did you order that is no longer nourishing you?

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