The Crazy Zone, Part 1

Last week we talked about the importance of Rest and Digest. But how do you manage that when life inevitably gets a little crazy?

This August, September and October have been nutty for me. I am more productive when I have a sense of rhythm and routine in my life, but rhythm and routine were nowhere to be found.

The first step for me was noticing. Yes. Seeing that I was in a crazy zone, and would be for some time, was incredibly helpful. I didn't realize this until the beginning of September, and my first reaction was a bit of panic - Gah! How am I going to survive two more months of this?? - but then I realized that it came with a bright side: November would be a bring a bit of calm and flexibility. Phew.

I puttered along with this newfound realization in my head - a good start - but the lack of routine was throwing me off and making it harder to get through the day and week. What to do? The next step was some serious looking ahead.

I sat down with my calendar, and rather than looking a week ahead as I normally do, looked at September, October and November. I anticipated the time I would need to prepare and execute each project, and blocked off time before the deadlines. I realized that getting certain projects done during this time was unrealistic, and pushed them to November, thereby relieving myself of the cloud of guilt that was hovering over my lack of progress.

I then scheduled in exercise and yoga, my personal favorites for keeping balance in my life. Since I know those times are limited, I am less likely to skip them.

I realized that my usual goal to keep Sundays free for relaxing would not happen for most of October, so the one day I do have will be held absolutely sacred - no way will I let that dissolve into "just a few" errands and get togethers. I then set aside each Sunday in November as a Lazy Day, so I would get to fill up on quiet time before the craziness of the holidays.

I'll keep writing about The Crazy Zone this week, but for now here are a few tips on dealing with unusual periods of high stress or activity:

  1. Notice you are in The Crazy Zone.
  2. Look ahead. How long will you be here?
  3. Schedule, setting aside time in advance for each project.
  4. Schedule in quiet and exercise dates. When you know they are coming, it will help you get through crunch time.