Getting it all done – No time to carve out for yourself and even if you did carve out time for yourself you wouldn’t know what to do. Recognise that scenario?
Getting it all done. Words to stricke both optimsm and terror into the heart of every busy woman.
What is getting it all done?
What does getting it all done mean to you? Is it the todo list you have at work which is your boss’s agenda, your team’s needs and your organisation’s strategy?
Is it your family’s needs – endless!
Or is it your own needs? Is that what getting it all done means to you? Does it include your own needs?
Likely it’s not the third option. Getting it all done means, for most women, “getting everything done that other people require of me”.
The first two options never resolve themselves. They are not goals which you have set yourself. There are always more demands to be placed upon you. It’s impossible to get it all done. There is always more. Work life is just a series of problem solving situations, coming straight at you, one after the other. Even the traditional signs of seniority, such as being promoted, which is a traditional sign of workplace success, generally bring with it more responsibility, more people to manage, more things to get done.
We know we are not prioritising ourself
Deep down we all know that we are not prioritising ourselves. We think it doesn’t matter today. If we can just tick of our todo list at work and get through our chore list at home, then that wil be enough. Tomorrow we can prioritse ourselves. We can go for a walk, go to the gym, read a book.
In fact, as we all know, tomorrow doesn’t come, without us being really intentional about it.
When tomorrow never comes you may be left feeling strangely unfulfilled. You may have a slightly anxious feel in your stomach.
When tomorrow never comes and you don’t prioritise yourself, you push desires, amibitions, interest and hobbies out of the way. You start to live out of integrity with yourself. That might be when you start to drink just a little bit more than you would like, smoke more than you want or maybe eat too much, in order to cope.
Then you have another layer of getting it all done to get done. Yu now have weight to lose, or drink to stop, or cigarettes to quit.
Why is this going on and what are we doing to ourselves?
What is going on is this:
Because you can’t cope with the emotions that are coming up, you try and numb them so that you don’t feel them. When you numb them, you temporarily feel better, but only temporarily. Your situation hasn’t changed, so you are no more happy than you were before. But you have temporarily alleviated the problem, the anxiety or stress has gone away, or seemingly gone away.
But then the next time that you feel stressed, exhausted, negative, teary or angry you reach out for the thing that will ‘make you feel better’. The wine, the G&T, the cigarettes, the burger and chips. So the habit develops and sooner or later you start to put on weight. And you don’t fit into your clothes. And then you start to feel rubbish about yourself. Undeserving even.
The link between clothes and emotions
In my work as a dress designer and online stylist, I began to see the link between women not living their fullest life and not wearing clothes that made them look their best.
If you feel good about yourself you most probably take care of yourself, your body and take an interest in what you wear. If you don’t feel good about yourself, you don’t take care of yourself, so you don’t look good, which means you don’t feel good, and so you develop a negative cycle which can become hard to break.
Develop a clothing strategy and break negative thought cycles
Developing a clothing strategy breaks negative thought cycles. Clothing strategies are designed to encourage you to look and feel your best every day. They take in to account your likes and dislikes, your lifestyle and your wishes or plans for the future.
In designing a clothing strategy for you I can take you right back to the place where you are in touch with the inner you, and you have a todo list, or rather a to be list that contains items that you want in there. Even though it might sound too good to be true, you can use the power of clothes to put you back at the centre of your own life.
Back to getting it all done – You don’t know where to start
For many of us the problem is slightly deeper than knowing that we are not prioritising ourselves. It is that even if we did put time aside for ourselves, we wouldn’t actually know what to do with that time. We have lost touch with ourselves to the extent that, given an opportunity to do something that makes our heart sing, we just wouldn’t know what to do.
Inner emotions and outer appearance go hand in hand, for the most part, if you have a healthy self esteem and feel good about yourself. What I have discovered over the last few years is that as I start to address the outer appearance, by designing a dress and selling my clothes, by writing about how to dress well, what I am often really talking about are issues of image, of identity, of authority, of power.
Quite often, when you say you have nothing to wear, or have an untidy, disorganised wardrobe, it is in fact a symption, not the illness itself. A cluttered wardrobe full of too small clothes, or clothes that you don’t wear, is actually a sign of something else. By addressing that something else I can help women like you achieve their goals and life life on their own terms. It’s a way of getting started, it’s like it flips the switch of your life and gets you right back into the swing of things.
It is very exciting to know that with a small investment of time you can feel better about yours life than you could have thought.
Not getting it all done – How to carve out time for yourself
Here are some great ways to get started in carving out time for yourself, sticking to it, and repeating it on a regular basis. In amongst all the “todos” that you have that constitute your ‘getting it all done list’ try and slip some of these ideas into your day:
- Spend 10-15 minutes thinking about what you would like to do. It doesn’t have to be big and dramatic, it can be really small and potentially insignificant to other people. But to you, it’s worthwhile because you actually want to do it.
- Find time in your diary for whatever it is
- Make it a regular part of your routine – anything that is regular becomes much easier to actually do.
- Learn to discern between what you would really like to do and what others might want you to do, or expect you to do.
- Regularly stop and ask yourself why you are doing what you are doing. Is it out of the expectations of others or because you geniunely want to do it?
- Stop wearing clothes you don’t like or which don’t fit, or which make you feel uncomfortable.
- Start to identify what you are not doing because you are worried what people might say (this was a biggy for me). Go and do it.
By becoming aware of your actions and your thoughts you can make a start in learning to put yourself and your emotions back at the heart of your life.
What are you going to make a start with today?