[from my journal] On Being Over Capacity

[excerpt from my journal]

I just figured out why I’ve been so cranky.

I thought it was because I have this big project that is full of tasks which are not my strength but which really must be done and it would be best for ME to do them because (long explanation there is no need to get into here).

Doing things that are not my strength is not my strength.? When I’m not in my strength then I’m not as strong.? Then everything kind of goes to shit.

But there is something more happening here, I just realised.


I have a tank, it’s a big round circle, that’s clear inside.? All the things I am working on and thinking about and dreaming of go into the circle.? It’s best if each thing has some space around it.? Right now each thing is crammed in super crazy tight.? So tight it’s kind of hard to breath.

So no wonder I have been cranky.

And no wonder it’s impossible to respond to all of these requests I am getting even though they are not unreasonable requests – it’s just that if I add just one more thing to this circle of capacity I’ll snap for sure.

OK, so how about I have permission to not respond to any emails until Monday.

That’s better, now at least it doesn’t feel like there is a lineup of things wanting to get into the already over-crammed circle of capacity.

So now let’s take everything out of the circle and get a better look at it.

Project GIANT PROJECT: This is taking up the most space and has the sharpest edges.

Regular business stuff: This feels all squished by project GIANT PROJECT even though project GIANT PROJECT exists only to support regular business stuff and make everything all-around better.? It’s just that things won’t get all-around better until project GIANT PROJECT is all the way finished.

Personal stuff: Aww, this is kind of in a puddle at the bottom of the circle.? It’s there but it’s almost apologizing for being there. Like I should just be ignoring my personal needs because other things are yelling more loudly for my attention.

Dreams and future projects: These have made themselves small, to give project GIANT PROJECT more space.? These are small and sparkly and happy and hold so much happiness for me for the future.? They get that project GIANT PROJECT is going to support them, they’re happy to wait for now.

Holy crap it feels like a relief so have everything out of the circle and cataloged.

Now I can work with this:

Dreams and future projects: I’m going to put you into this other container.? You’re going to be on hold until the completion of project GIANT PROJECT.? Also we’ll remember that project GIANT PROJECT exists to serve and grow you.

Regular business stuff: All non-essential stuff is going into the container with the dreams and future projects.? Essential stuff is going to get a little space every day.? During next week’s Creative Genius Planning Session I’ll explore how to set this up.

Personal stuff: You don’t need to be in a puddle in the bottom!

Project GIANT PROJECT: You need to take up a bit less room and be less sharp around the edges.

Personal stuff and project GIANT PROJECT are just looking at me, they don’t know how to get back into the container of capacity in a way that is going to make everyone happy.

Let’s try something super radical here.

Personal stuff gets to have whatever space it needs.

Personal stuff goes right into the middle of the container of capacity, smiles, and stretches out.

Project GIANT PROJECT forms a ring, with soft smooth edges, around personal stuff.

I feel like I can breathe again.

I will take care of me.

I will be organised about my work.

I will work as efficiently and quickly as I can to get project GIANT PROJECT done but I won’t put myself into a state of overwhelm about it (anymore).