Overachieving is awesome, but the ways we are culturally primed to believe we get to a state of excellence are largely toxic and misguided. Doing things faster, rocketing to the top and super-powered living all tend to create IMBALANCE. There are times when a little imbalance serves us well- almost all of us have pulled an all-nighter at one point or another- but there are few times when you can sustain this pace without breaking down on some level. How can you adjust your home and your habits to excel and get brilliant stuff done while feeling and being sane?
1. You have to know when the day ends. Before we even start to move anything around in a feng shui sense, lets decide that you will pick a time when you sleep on average (and I don’t care if its early or late). Decide to shut off all electronics (OK, if you want to watch TV that’s fine, if its non-violent or upsetting) and actually relax 2 HOURS BEFORE BED. This one habit-shift alone will prevent dreams about Facebook friends, Pinterest posts, web-surfing and other weird and hypnotic ideas gleaned from the internet. But, Dana, you don’t understand. I don’t have enough time to get everything done and… and… I do know. You have to turn it all off and be OK with what you got done in the day. If you didn’t do enough, trust me, this is the greatest motivator to actually learn to use your time more wisely.
2. Set priorities that make sense. Again, I know I have hated hearing this for years. Everything is a priority! Nope. You have to know where to focus your energy. Even Superman knew who he was saving every day; he had priorities. You need them, too.
3. TAKE BREAKS!!! Pacing yourself actually builds endurance. My feng shui tip for you here is to have something- a toy, a game, a sketch pad, etc, off to your right side (the creativity area, in feng shui terms) of your desk. When I started using the Pomodoro Technique to structure my work time and breaks (essentially you work in 25 minute blocks with a 5 minute break between each, then a 30 minute break after 4 hours), I found so many fun ways to play in the midst of working. My crayons, snacks and dogs are never far away!
4. Stop drinking caffeine within a few hours of waking, and keep it reasonable. No caffeine after NOON if you get up early. Caffiene crosses the line from waking you up to wiring you to a level that is abnormal if you keep drinking all day. If you are trying to live at Level 10 constantly, very few of you will not crash and burn. Remember when people (like Demi Moore) were getting super-sick or even dying from Redbull drinks? Your adrenal glands, your internal organs, your psyche and your spirit were not meant to sprint through every waking hour of the day. Plus, the focus you get from your latte turns to discombobulation if you overdo it!
5. Find your personal style & go the extra mile by being yourself. Whatever you do, you can put your unique stamp of excellence on it if you know your personal style. Whether you put a unique spin on an academic paper or include a handwritten note when you ship your products to customers, we all have ways to be personal and deliver a lot more… just by being who we are. Brainstorm a way to make this work for you. In essence, you are creating more Tao (connectivity) to your work. Overachieving is much more natural and less “brutal” if you master the art of personal connection to your style and service.
6. Really beautify and curate the “CAREER” area of every room of your house as well as your home overall. Check out the bagua map. You can refer to THIS article if you need to know how to use it better. The career area of your home overall will be at the center of the wall that contains the entrance door. When looking at each room, it will be in the center of the main entrance wall of each room. Metal, white, grey, clean surfaces and sleek or curated objects do well in these areas, especially in your office if you work at home or your home overall if you really need a career boost. Really eliminate clutter, poor lighting, bad furniture and other problems from these sectors of your home and office.
7. If you are miserable, something needs to change. Miserable people are less effective, earn less money overall, have greater health and personal problems and… are miserable! I recommend Julia Cameron’s book, The Artist’s Way to my clients who want to make changes in their career or break out of persistent doldrums. Working through the book in twelve weeks gives you lots of tools to qualify, name and eliminate your misery while stoking your creative fire. Super-important stuff! Also, try eating better food and being kind to yourself. If all else fails or things are too bleak, get good professional help to get out of your funk. Things work a lot better if we can find our way- or get out of our way- to happiness!
Wishing you awesome success without stress! xoxo Dana