Secrets of Getting Through Things • 21 May 2008 • The SnowBlog
Secrets of Getting Through Things
I've just written, and deleted, a long, self-absorbed, pathetic post about how poor I am and how I wish Snowbooks would make more money and how it's not fair that we have to work so hard for so little financial reward. I deleted it because it did its job - it made me realise that I was wallowing and not noticing all the excellent things I have. Writing is very good like that. It's a good tool to use in managing my temperament - one of the big Secrets of Getting Through Things. Yes, things are tough; sales are as difficult as ever to achieve; people are demanding and sometimes a bit stupid; I have no money. But I could be well off, working for a large company, miserable as sin and having to commute to an office every day - and not be able to tell people what I think of them, not be able to make my own choices and not be building up the wealth (if not cash) of a company I'm proud of. I woke up this morning, feeling the weight of the world on my shoulders. A spot of cathartic blog posting and I'm ready to start the day. Shame you'll never get to read it as it was funny, in retrospect. And I'm mentioning it anyway because you should know that running a small business is hard, and gets me down from time to time, and I feel strongly that you should hear about the downs as well as the ups. I'm also mentioning it to reiterate the idea of how crucial it is to manage your temperament.
Managing one's temperament is all about self-awareness - realising when you're feeling down, figuring out what the root cause of that is, asking yourself 'do I really want to be the sort of person who lets this sort of thing defeat her?', answering 'hell, no', taking a deep breath and starting again. It helps to have negative role models - people you'd rather die than be like, who crumble at the same sorts of things you're facing - whether that's tiredness, tough times at work, people being difficult or a shaky market. It helps to find tools to process your thoughts, rather than having everything bang around in your head - like writing, or phoning a friend. The most important thing, which I have to keep reminding myself to do, is to get a sense of perspective. It's good to have a day to wallow - but then some self-reflection is important to snap yourself out of it.
What other Big Secrets of Getting Through Things are there? I think the main other one is being organised. I feel myself slipping out of control within a matter of hours if my structure breaks down. It doesn't matter how many things are on my plate, or how much there is to do, if all the tasks, plans, projects and ideas are written down, ordered, dated, filed, recorded, known about. My to do list at the moment has 54 separate things on it - some will take five minutes, others a week. But I know they'll get done, in a timely way, because I don't have to hold all 54 things in my head and worry about forgetting something. It frees my head up to do other things, like think, relax, manage my temperament.
When I sat down to write today's post, it was going to be a no-holds-barred, deliberately open and honest account of how miserable I feel today, how it was all too hard, whether it was all worth it. Funnily enough, I don't feel miserable at all now. One temperament, managed. Tick.