We all have a lot of tasks going on all the time. -things we have to get done - and no matter how much effort or energy we put into them, they're ongoing: laundry, cooking, things like that. These are things that will always need to be done. I often feel like I'm juggling a million different things, and they all feel like they are of such high importance.
This often really overwhelms me, and I end up wanting to do nothing. I'm so overwhelmed with what has to get done that I lose all motivation to do anything. I can't be the only one feeling like this, which is why I wanted to share this analogy.
Someone told me that you have to consider your tasks like you're juggling balls. There are rubber balls, and there are glass balls. The rubber balls, if you drop them, if you let them go for a while, nothing really happens. Right?
The rubber ball is going to hit the ground, and it's going to just keep bouncing. It's not a big deal. For me, a rubber ball task would be laundry. Nothing that bad is going to happen if I don't do laundry for a little while, if I don't fold it, or if I don't put it away. I will still have clothing. If I never do laundry, it will become a glass ball. Eventually, I won't have clothing, and I'd have to go to work naked. I don't think my clients would appreciate that. For now, though, laundry can be a task at the bottom of my to-do list.
But a glass ball... if I let that drop and I don't put energy into that task and that hits the ground, that's probably going to shatter. That is going to have some serious consequences. If I neglect my relationship with my husband, that's going to have some serious consequences for my marriage. If I don't feed my dog, there will be serious consequences for that. If I just decide I don't want to go to work, I don't want to go to the studio on a day that I have a client, there are serious consequences. That glass ball will shatter.
When I look at my to-do list, I can prioritize by figuring out which tasks are the rubber balls and which ones are glass. Doing this makes it easier for me to see that not everything has to get done immediately. That takes the pressure off me. I don't feel so anxious about having to do everything right now all at once.
I was feeling overwhelmed last week. My in-laws were coming over, and I had a shoot. I was worried I would not get all the cleaning done. Not every form of cleaning is a rubber ball task, though. If I don't vacuum my upstairs, it's actually fine. My in-laws don't even sleep on the top floor when they visit. Why am I worried about that? Dust bunnies definitely feel like a rubber ball problem.
Everything isn't as important as everything else, and I'm a very anxious person, so hearing this is helpful to me. Hopefully, it is helpful to you, as well. This analogy of the rubber and glass ball is in my brain now, and I want it to be in your brain as well. Remember that the rubber ball is going to bounce, and it's going to be okay. You can go and pick up that rubber ball again whenever you want. It will still be there. We don't need to put energy into worrying about it. We've got much better ways to spend our energy! We deserve to spend our time and energy on the things that really matter.