The Tortoise Who Used to Be A Hare

Do you tend to waste time or do you have a firm grasp on how to successfully manage your time?  Is this skill honed to perfection or do you struggle to make it a regular habit?  Can you multi-task or is more than one task a little too much for you to handle?


For me, it was one and now it is unfortunately, the other.  It seems that I have too many tasks to maintain for my daily upkeep and not enough time to properly handle them all.  What happened?  One night I went to bed as the “super multi-tasker” (like the hare), but I woke up the next morning moving as slow as the tortoise.  I was unsure as to whether I could finish the race or not.


I used to be someone who could juggle multiple tasks at one time so well I could do it with one eye open.  Okay, so I exaggerated a bit.  However, I did manage time very well back in the day.  In college, it was a breeze.  When I first started my career, it was one of my strongest traits.  I had every project timed just perfectly and added to my schedule.  I even managed to pencil in time so I could decompress from my stress.


One day I was managing multiple tasks and then the next day, I started to freeze-up at the mere thought of it.  It seemed as if my mind and body were at war with one another.  My mind said “You can do this.  It’s a piece of cake!”  My body laughed and responded “What are you on?  I cannot manage more than one thing at a time!”  Apparently, neither side was budging and as a result, neither side was winning.


Yet, I was still determined to go back to those habits of yesteryear.  It just seems so frustrating when you have to adapt to the changes brought on by getting older.  Now, I am not saying I am feeble and incapable of managing my life.  I am still vital and I still have all of my faculties about me.  I just don’t have the same tolerance I did back then.  I let all of this get to me and I fell apart as a result.  It seems that I cannot bring home the bacon and simultaneously fry it up in the pan.  It has to be done one task at a time.  Great, I can bring home the bacon, but now I have to wait to fry it in the pan.  It’s bacon.  There’s no waiting in preparing bacon!  Sorry I started to lose my train of thought.  It is now 3am and I am craving bacon…


It’s not like I can pull an all-nighter every now and then to catch up.  Trust me the older I get, the more impossible it is for me to pull an all-nighter.  Unless of course insomnia hits again!  I have to complete all of this in one day regardless of the war raging inside of me.  I decided to put a plan into motion.  By the way, I am a great planner.  I love to plan.  Planning is not my problem.  My problem is I take my time acting on the plan of action.


So after much thought, I have to re-assess these tasks by order of priority.  Is there any wiggle room?  Can some of these tasks wait?  I know I am stubborn and I like things to be orderly and resolved as quickly as possible.  I also know that I like to have some free time to just relax.  I have to decide what it is more important to me.  What do I value more:  my career and responsibilities or my social life?  I love both equally, but one has to win over the other.  After much deliberation, I choose to focus on my career.


So what is the answer to all of this?  I need to first of all chill out.  I need to make sure that all of my needs are met and focus on how to do just that.  One day may be more viable to meeting my social tasks, and the other may be better for me to focus on my career.  I have to learn to mix and match and go from there.  I am not the person I once was.  I now have to adapt my schedule to meet the needs of the person I have now become.  It may not have the same finesse, but it will get done.  I just have to take a longer route to get there and compromise in order to achieve this.  So for now, this is the new schedule.  It has to be flexible with lower expectations.  I can only do what I can do.  I cannot be that over-achiever I once was, no matter how hard that is for me to accept.


Sadly, I know that this process will once again change the older I get.  Right now it is frustrating, but doable.  There will come a day in which I have to go back to the drawing board and re-evaluate my schedule and set new goals.  I have no doubt about that.  In fact the older I get, the less I sleep; which means I may come full circle and go back to reluctantly doing all-nighters once again.  I can see it now:  I will start my day at dawn and finish the day around 7pm,  get a few hours sleep only to start all over again.  Oh yeah, I’ll be looking forward to this next stage of my life.

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