I am an incredible multi-tasker.
Actually, this isn’t something I do all the time. I just finished reading *another* article about how multitasking isn’t truthfully that great: we aren’t focused as well as we could be, and we possibly take shortcuts to achieve more “stuff” in less time. We feel frazzled, we deplete ourselves, and in the end, we have to go back and fix things that we had rushed previously, thus spending MORE time than if we had just done it well in the first place.
Except that’s not what I’m talking about.
I’m talking about that moment when you are happily juggling just a couple of things at once, and then something else gets tossed on your plate, which is time sensitive. Instead of reacting in an “Oh sh*t!” sort of way, you take a deep breath and enter what I lovingly call the Pixie Zone.
The Pixie Zone is where there is a LOT of focused energy, and a LOT of productivity, but it’s still fun. It’s still a “thriving” environment to play in, and getting things done feels amazing and nourishing! If you are not having fun or feeling good about what you’re getting done, you’re not in the Pixie Zone. You’re somewhere else that you probably hate, which makes sense, but it can change.
So where’s the part about recognizing my own power? I used to totally get into the other zone. Let’s call it the Suck Zone (anyone get the little Twister reference I just made? Phillip Seymour Hoffman at his best, folks) for the sake of ease. This little Pixie used to get in the Suck Zone ALL the time and it left me short-tempered, irrational, over-reactive and impatient.
Don’t get me wrong. I can still be all those things. These days, though, I’m much more in control of how I react, because (again) I am AH-mazing at multi-tasking. I just need to do it on my own terms.
Rules for my Pixie Zone (and BTW, your rules might/should be different than mine. My rules work for me, but you’re not me…that’s another conversation for another day, though.):
1. I like short bursts of time that are intensely productive. I LOVE to sit down and cross off 10 things from my list in 15 minutes. That pace feels awesome. I happen to be a fire sign with air in my chart, so I am not one for stagnation.
(the REAL rule, is KNOW YOUR PACE: how do you LIKE working? What environment and pace feel natural and good to you? ‘Cuz guess what, duckies, if you are doing what feels natural to you, your chances of enjoying it go way up.)
2. I HATE to be torn away while right in the middle of something I am focusing on. This could mean counting knitting stitches, shading in a sketch, or crossing one bajillion things off of my list at a time. I am not great at being interrupted. This doesn’t mean that it doesn’t happen. It just means that I am super clear about my boundaries and then I need a moment to stop what I am doing to shift gears into listening to someone else. That takes me a moment. But it doesn’t piss me off (usually.).
(the REAL rule: Know your boundaries. Are you fine with folks coming up and asking you stuff while you’re working? Are you great at fielding ten questions at a time, or do you avoid team work like the dickens? Both are valuable and have a place. We all can get in alignment with either option. I am actually an awesome leader, when I am placed into that role, but when I am doing my OWN work, I need to be left to do it.)
3. Take time to stop and rest. I LOVE love love love love resting. You can read last week’s post on how much, in case you weren’t sure. I am awesome at closing my door, turning off my lights and setting a timer/alarm for 15 minutes. It’s a reward for my working hard, and it keeps my bodymind happy and alert and strong. Other rewards are beautiful tea, BBC drama series, and Marvel comic movies.
(the REAL rule: build in healthy rewards. This means that a doughnut doesn’t count as a reward, but a deeply nourishing lunch that’s truly healthy and balancing and you take time to eat it, is. Massage, rest, and meditation are great rewards. So are cups of herbal tea in beautiful mugs, purchasing that new delicious album or book of poetry you’ve been yearning for, or strolling under lush trees and breathing deeply. You don’t have to spend money, and it doesn’t have to be long. But you need to thank yourself for your work. A lot.)
So there you have it…
Just three little rules. They are so simple and yet, when we take a moment to stop and recognize how they play (or don’t) into our days, we can completely re-frame work, and how we do it. I hope this offers you a template for figuring out your OWN rules, for your own Delicious Pixie Zone.
Until the next unfolding,