I've been feeling overwhelm these past few weeks. There's a lot going on and a lot of information to process. Background stress from events over which I have no control makes me super-forecast too many possibilities. Unchecked I'll burn out via a few more weeks of insomnia and abandon all routines and self-care practices.
Today I locked down into researching an article that I'm not going to need for another couple of months. I've got a clear plan of work to keep me on track for the Superstars release dates but instead I blew a day on an unplanned SEO piece. That fed more frustration and a stress headache hit me hard.
I took the hit, wrote off the rest of the day and stayed out of everyone's way while I thought things through.
My version of thinking things through is a dark room, a fan blowing cool air, a notebook, and something streaming low volume in the background. Today it was YouTube Premium (I took the one month trial. There was no way I was listening to repeated Squarespace ads with a vice crushing my frontal lobe).
One of the videos was Joe Rogan interviewing former Navy Seal Andy Stumpf. The pair talk about how physically and mentally exhausting the 180 days of Navy Seal training is on the recruits. As the former Seal instructor explains the punishing regime Joe Rogan asks how anyone can get through that.
"You make your world small," replied Stumpf.
He explained the best way to make it through any stressful situation is to shrink down your thoughts to what needs to be done right now. Successful seal recruits don't think about the full 24 weeks of training. They focus on what needs to be done that day. When the recruits reach high stress phases like Hell Week they narrow that focus down to the next few hours.
I've let my world grow too big. I'm working on two big projects (Superstars and a Novel) and I'm overloading with Covid-19 information and trying to work out too many scenarios. I've been focusing on things out of my control instead of thinking how best to do what I can for me and those I love around me. I have wasted time on busy work for the illusion of being productive instead of taking responsibility for my goals. Worst of all I have not done the mental, physical and emotional work to have the best day I possibly can. I've been living the inverted version of the Stoic Triangle.
To keep my world small I'm going back to my daily routine and only working on tasks connected to the wellbeing of me, my family, my friends, my community and my goals. I'll capture any thoughts, ideas, worries or concerns outside of that small world in a notebook where they'll grow into a future goal or fade away.
Keep your world small. It's much nicer that way.