How to Simplify a Pretty Overwhelming Life?

It’s Sunday. Four fifteen in the afternoon to be exact. It’s gloomy outside. It actually began drizzling. I love the laid back, relaxed weather. For me, this is the ideal relaxing Sunday. Plus, a book or an e-book to complete the perfect scenario.

I also felt the need to talk to you. I felt the need to share this. If you have observed there have been times that this blog is silent. It’s not that I don’t have anything to share. I just feel that it’s not the best time to share or most likely I needed my quiet time. I needed to detach from a pretty overwhelming life I have created.

Yes, every action we take is a decision made but there are actions I felt that consumed a lot of my time. Though I have enjoyed every bit of it, more often, I regret doing it. I was the “Yes” guy. I just say yes to almost all the questions but it has its disadvantages – a pretty overwhelmed life.

Don’t get me wrong – I don’t have a superstar lifestyle. I still sleep on an average of 8-9 hours a day. A pretty decent sleep time compared to my call center life. Ever since I ended my stint in the BPO industry, I realized that I have been working more than the BPO hours. 90% I work at home. As long as there’s internet – work is feasible but most of the time distractions and non-productive activities can get along.

Last year I made a decision to simplify my life. It all starts with the simple action. Life was pretty overwhelming and my cortisol level is up. It’s the bad stress I assumed to have created the acne on my face. So last year I stepped back. Sat down on the same chair I’m currently sitting down and thought how can I redeem a peaceful life.

I deep dived on the cause and I realize I was multitasking. I also get easily distracted and I felt the need to do all these non-productive things. These were the main cause and I have to slowly eliminate them before it gets through my head and fatigue.

One of the very first things I did last year was to get a standing table. I got that idea from reading an article that it will make increase your productivity. I had it custom made at a local market since none of the major furniture shops at the mall had it. I now had the standing table for over a year now and truly it made me do all the tasks the soonest. Once I check off a task from the bullet list, I sit down for 5 minutes then proceed to the next task. Another rule is whenever I work out, I don’t use the productivity table too much because I know majority of my energy has been drained out.

Though it improved my productivity, I still felt overwhelmed. I realized I was multitasking. I believed I still got that habit from the call center world. I need to break it and decided one day last year to focus on a task before I jump to the other. I know mentioned that a little earlier but most often distraction was present. The major distraction was the internet and the check list. I was doing something wrong and I figured out I wasn’t prioritizing what was important and urgent. I treated all the task as urgent making me cram to do it all at the same time or jump on a specific task. It was a time waster and one day I tried something new – to prioritize the tasks.

Life was better but the feeling of being overwhelmed is still there. There were redundant activities and I don’t seem to know how to correct it until I read the book of Tim Ferriss called “The Four Hour Work Week”. A part of the book taught me to batch the activities as I can. So two weeks ago as I was reading this book, I was also applying the concept. Today, I know has a meeting time/date, posting/replying to emails or social posts and even grocery time. I must admit, I usually go to the grocery thrice a week. I purchase in retail and in small batches.

Two weeks after trying this out – the results were overwhelming mentally and financially. On the financial side – it saved me a couple of hundred pesos in the fare. Mentally it was less stressful and I only had to do it per batch on a time or weekly basis. The after effects were a relaxed mind, body and pocket.

A year ago I was super stressed and I felt really overwhelmed. Today, a much relax Vic is here. The journey to a more peaceful life took long. The tests were perfect. Distractions are still there but not as more often as before. Today, I’m just happy to share this experience. I know you can do it.

Let’s simplify it. If you think life is too much. Acknowledge it. Decide what to do. Set personal rules. Eliminate the distraction. Stop multitasking. Focus on a task and lastly batch per task.

Try it yourself and let me know if it works for you. If you think this helped you, considering sharing this blog post.

Let’s connect. I’m @vicmadz on Twitter, Instagram and Vic Madriaga on YouTube and Facebook. I also write weekly on Urban Life – Mindanao Gold Star Daily – the biggest newspaper in Mindanao, Philippines. Check out my previously written columns here.

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1 Comment

  1. Actually vic, I still do grocery like 3 times in a week haha, i never thought it will cut costs by doing it less. Yup, I can totally relate by overwhelming work. Thanks for the thought, you write so well.

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