These last two weeks have been a bit crazy for me: tasks and meetings at work were getting on top of each other, with some of them planned and some unplanned, and to be honest, I was mad busy.
And as it usually happens, it was not a case of me being very busy with one particular thing; instead, I had to take care l of multiple things at once, so I spent my days in a state of alertness, splitting my attention (or rather, dispersing it), and constantly switching between tasks.
Does it sound familiar?
Thankfully it was only for the two weeks, and now there´s a quieter period coming up. Otherwise, I would have found it exhausting.
And all of this reminds me of another one of those expressions that I really like but find impossible to translate, or at least I´m not able to translate in an elegant way, from English into Spanish: to be spread too thin. (literalmente, estar “untado” o “extendido” demasiado fino). No estoy segura de si la frase vendrá de ahí, pero recuerdo haber leído algo muy parecido en El Señor de los Anillos, en palabras de Bilbo Bolsón:
"I feel thin, sort of stretched, like butter scraped over too much bread."
I think all of us may have felt this way at some point in our lives. And what can we do? Well, a few things come to mind:
- Become aware of what´s happening to us, and recognize how that´s affecting us physically, mentally and emotionally. This is the first step: once we know it, we can do something about it.
- Reduce as much as possible (or even better, eliminate) multitasking, that is, this doing several things a the same time. In a future post, I´ll take the time to explain why multitasking doesn´t work, but just for you to know, it doesn´t work, even if we get the impression that it does 🙂
- Descansar y cuidarnos todo lo que podamos durante este tiempo: horas de sueño, buena dieta, un poco de ejercicio y aire fresco… (nótese que no cuento ver Netflix, ni mirar las redes sociales en el móvil “para desconectar”, eso en mi opinión tampoco funciona, no nos relaja de verdad)
- Whatever we cannot avoid, let´s take it in the easiest possible way. This may seem paradoxical, but if you think it through, if we take the pressure that´s already there and add another layer to it with our own worries, stress levels are not going to decrease, quite the opposite, they will increase. Patience and good humour will make it all more bearable.
- And also very important, though we may not always think of it: whatever we can avoid... let´s avoid it! Here I like using the four Ds that David Allen lists in his book Getting Things Done:
- Do it (if it takes you less than two minutes),
- Defer it (schedule it for later),
- Delegate it (get somebody else to do it), or
- Delete it (it´s not the end of the world if it doesn´t get done).
¿Estás de acuerdo con estas estrategias? ¿Se te ocurre alguna más? ¿Cómo lidias tú con la sensación de estar “untado demasiado fino”?