Tuesday, 8 March 2022

Easily distracted boiled frog

 I am easy distracted. Despite having the ability to focus to the exclusion of surrounding conversation and voices, I find it really hard to focus on tasks that need a chunk of time to be spent on it, especially during the work day.

I completely own my inability to ignore emails and messages. I deal with customers who want (and require) information and attention - now. This compromises my ability to work on things that really need my focus. And then, when I do blot out distractions to focus on something critical for a few hours, I end up dropping the ball by getting far behind on replies and responses. 

Deal with 100 things and get behind on one. Or focus on one and get behind on 100? 

I'm not attaining a middle ground.

There are days when I get the flow, feeling like an octopus behind the controls of the Starship Enterprise. Others days I'm butterfingers. 

I used to be able to work late to complete each day's emails. Now I've made peace that I just can't get to everything everyday.

You can tell me a dozen ways to better manage my time. Prioritise, schedule, learn to say no, create segments in the day where you don't check emails and messages, routines, avoid multitasking... What it comes down to is just too many things to be done and only so much time. No amount of prioritising and scheduling can change this. There really is a limit.

In phases, I do catch up. I do get through items on my to do list. I do keep (most) of the balls in the air. Occasionally one drops.

It is amazing how we adapt and adjust over time. I would have been freaked out by my everyday a couple of years ago. Now, I just do the best that I can do and make peace with my failings.

Much like the boiled frog. The proverbial frog didn't get killed by the boiling water but rather by his inability to decide when to jump out. For me right now, the water is made hot by daily challenges. In theory, overcoming challenges should cool the water. For now, I'm still alive and some days, the temperature is quite tolerable.

This 'small business' meme has been doing the rounds on social media. It is so true. I'm pasting it below to read and remember when I need to. Running a small business is hard and taxing and exhausting.
"The unfortunate truth of owning and running a business.
Running a business is really hard but can be tons of fun! What they don’t tell you is that it can cause severe stress and anxiety, and drains you mentally to the point of depression, Covid certainly added to that!
People will talk about you, compare you to others, use you, they will view you as a service and not a person anymore. Some will expect discounts (its just a game to them) and people will value you and your hard work less than a big chain store.
Starting up and running a successful business puts incredible strain on personal lives. You need to be the director, the worker, the admin, the marketing team, the accountant, the cleaner.....
There’s a reason you don’t see many people succeed in small businesses after 5-10 years. If they are successful they are overwhelmed. It takes a toll. It’s exhausting. Especially the past couple of years when so much has been out of our control.
Here’s a small reminder that we are just normal people with hectic lives. Be kind, be patient, support small to medium sized businesses… and hopefully more of us will stick around!"

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