Tag Archives: tools

A therapeutic way to deal with negative feelings

For two weeks, I was bothered by an innocent conversation I had with a person.

Seriously… it was very innocent.  There was just chatting.  But something was said on their part — it’s not important what — that kind of bugged me.

And hours later it still bugged me.

And hours after that it grew from a nagging annoyance to downright anger.  I found myself grousing about it to my husband and close friends.  That’s how much it annoyed me.

That is not healthy.

One of my personal goals for this year is to learn to relax and let go of negative feelings.  I completely believe that it’s OK to have negative feelings — what kind of monster doesn’t have the full range of emotions?! — but letting them simmer and grow inside can start to intrude on other parts of your life.

I don’t have time for that.

There are right ways and wrong ways to deal with these feelings, and I’ll admit that I’m no expert, but I have learned a few things that I would like to pass on.

Wrong Way

Online

I’ll admit, I considered making a Facebook or Twitter status that was just vague enough not to call the person out, yet addressing how angry I felt.  But that’s a slippery slope.  And while it might have felt good at the time, I probably would have felt bad later, and you can’t take that stuff back.  It also looks really unprofessional and silly.

Better Way

Two weeks later, when I realized the comment still bothered me and it was starting to affect my overall perception of the person, I remembered something a counselor once told me:

Go back and address the issue with the person.  It’s never too late.

So, I decided to talk to the person.  But I hate confrontations, so I also decided to practice.

Speaking to the invisible person, here’s how my conversation went…

Me: Excuse me, could we talk in private?  Listen, I value our relationship, which is why I felt like I should say this.  Something you said really bothered me, and I don’t believe that you meant to say it maliciously, but I wanted to let you know that I was offended.  I’m not seeking an apology.  I just wanted to get that off my chest.  Thanks for listening.

And you know, what?  I felt better.  I didn’t even need to speak to the person directly to feel better.  Just having that practice conversation helped.  It was like a huge weight was lifted off my chest.

So if you find yourself bothered by something, I highly suggest having a real or imaginary conversation with the person.  Chances are, you’ll feel better, and the issue will have been dealt with in a mature way.

Now, if the issue is something that requires action on the part of the other person, I recommend the practice conversation, then actually having the conversation with the person.  I’m sure they will appreciate your professionalism and maturity.  And you’ll feel better in the long run.

Fighting distractions

When it comes to distractions, I tend to fail more than I conquer.  Not only am I a mom trying to work from home with a very active 3-year-old, but I’m also prone to being distracted.

I’ve been fighting it my entire life.

I mentioned in my last post the tools I use to stay on schedule.  This morning, I read an article on one of the blogs I follow about fighting distractions.  It’s a good read and worth a look if you’re anything like me.

You can read the full post here.

Getting in the groove

Now that I’m a self-employed web designer/developer, I’m learning a thing or two about managing my time and handling projects.

I’ve been focused on House on Payne Web Design for the past three weeks, and it’s been a different world.

The upside is being my own boss, setting my own schedule, and advancing my knowledge about my chosen trade as well as business.

The downside is that I don’t have a lot of hours in the day, and I have to be REALLY careful about how I manage my time.

Because I work from home now, I’m also the main babysitter for my 3-year-old son.  READ THAT.  3.  Have you tried to work on a computer while a 3-year-old demands your attention?  Don’t.  It’s not worth the effort.

Here are a few of my strategies, and while they haven’t managed to completely clear my schedule so I can work, they have managed to make my time more efficient.

  1. Send the child to camp or school.  That may sound selfish, but kids actually love camp and they benefit from the structure of a program, mingling with other kids and planned activities.  Luke adores his summer camp, and it gives me 2 1/2 free hours in the morning to work uninterrupted.  I can’t wait for school to start, because that will be 6 1/2 hours.
  2. Make a daily schedule EVERY DAY.  I was writing out two pages that broke my day into 30 minute and 1 hour blocks until I realized that I could be more efficient in Outlook, which also links to my iPod Touch calendar, where EVERYTHING is stored.  My schedule looks silly to some, because it has stuff like “Shower/dress” on it, but I have so much to do that if I don’t schedule that stuff in, I’ll fall really behind.
  3. Use a to-do list.  But make sure it’s one that helps you plan out all of those little tasks that have to get done.  I use Remember the Milk because it’s online and there’s an app that links to my mobile device.  It sends me reminders and it works well for me.  It’s not the only one out there, though, and I’ve found that whatever task manager you use has to work for YOU.
  4. Set expectations with your family and friends.  This is one of the toughest and most challenging parts of effective time management.  As much as I would like to talk on the phone or IM my friends when I’m at my computer, I can’t because I have work to do.  I try to go over my schedule with my husband so he knows what I have on tap that day, both on the workfront and on the homefront.  My friends also know that my 2 1/2 hours in the morning are precious, and I’m unlikely to be able to chat much.  Maybe a little, but not much.
  5. Reward yourself with social media, but don’t overdo it.  Facebook is a huge draw for me, but I know that if I jump on just before I start working or while I’m working, it will waste valuable time.  I actually schedule it in sometimes or I reward myself with a check if I finish a task earlier than I expected.

So that’s it — my strategies.  I’m still figuring this stuff out, but so far, so good.