One of the hardest things about being responsible is accepting the need to do the opposite.
When I have overriding responsibilities, whether they be work, relationship, or family, I am all in.
I can’t do things by halves, I have to give my all or I give nothing.
Unfortunately, approaching things like this can lead to more negative, rather than positive, outcomes.
I tend to obsess over things, which doesn’t lend itself to successful outcomes, rather things drag on, as you look for the perfect outcome.
It can alienate friends, as you stop being interested in them and their issues as you blindly obsess over your own.
Which is why I now build some ‘Paul time’ into every day.
This can vary from being walked by my dog Zeus, to being abused by a posse of expletive-spewing teenagers on Call Of Duty, to receiving my opinion from my friendly local coffee cart barista.
It doesn’t matter what the distraction is, as long as it doesn’t involve my cell phone, email or any other work-related function for however long I’ve given myself to take a break.
Some days it’s longer than others, but usually, it’ll be around an hour of removing focus, talking about how England will win the next Rugby World Cup or the merits of burpees.
The key to making this successful is creating a plan.
A friend of mine suggested I block out my calendar for a week at a time, allowing specific allotments of time for different tasks throughout the day.
This shows you just how much time is available in the day, makes me much more productive for fixed periods of time and allows me to be accountable to my responsibilities, but still able to allow myself time to de-stress or relax.
Give it a try, it just might help.