When you get behind, you first put aside what you can get to later. Unfortunately, that is too often your family. You know where they live. They aren’t going anywhere. They know you love them. They’ll understand. All of this is true for isolated occasions. Unfortunately, this rationale can become a habit and the family can slowly, and barely noticeably at first, fall apart.
The information overload has added to our frustrations in life in many ways. Too many decisions, not enough time, confusion, little planning are all contributors. I took time to think about the frustrations I have experienced over the years and continue to have. But shining a light on these issues helps to minimize their impact on my life. I’m not a psychologist, nor do I play one on TV, but here is what I noticed about myself. See if any of these nine frustrations apply to you.
- Lack of priorities—I may think I have priorities but I often ignore them. They were something I put together yesterday and I’ve already forgot to take them into account.
- Lack of short term goals—closely related to priorities is short term goals. Priorities are a longer term strategic thing. Short term goals are a tactical thing. Priorities are not always done in order of importance, but in order of practicality and logic as short term goals.
- Indecisiveness – what to do, what to do first, when should I do it. I usually figure it out but it takes time away from getting anything done. It is directly caused by the first two frustrations.
- Numbness—sometimes I just get numb. I can’t move. I just sit there but it’s not relaxing—it’s frustrating. It doesn’t happen often and it doesn’t last long, but is a short period that may also be called depression. However, I know enough to realize when I’m numb, that it is temporary and will pass.
- Fear—this was a real issue for me when I was younger. I failed to move forward often because of fear. Sometimes it was small stuff like meeting people. Other times the fear kept me from bigger things, like accepting opportunities for improvement. Social events, leadership responsibilities, etc. were things I was not comfortable with.
- Laziness—who of us hasn’t been lazy at some point. Short-term laziness is normal. When it becomes a description of who you are, you need to get help.
- Exhaustion—I used to be better at pacing myself, or maybe I was just younger, but exhaustion can be a great impact in your life! Exhaustion shouldn’t be ignored.
- Promises—making commitments is something that must be done carefully. When they are made, they add to your priority list. The frustration appears when you have over-committed or regret the promise.
- Distractions—the useless but sometimes titillating information that will draw you in, the weaknesses you have for gossip, Facebook, sports, gambling, ‘Words With Friends’, etc. None these things are bad when done as planned, but not as ‘pop up’ distractions, or excuses to delay an unpleasant task.
- Lack of priorities—think about what is important in your life, really important. If you have a family, be sure they are number one. Of course many other priorities will be in support of your family—work, and even your time and interests, because time to yourself is an important aspect of being a capable mom or dad.
- Lack of short term goals—this is an easy fix. Just keep a to-do list as a habit and keep updating it. Write down what you want to get done today or this week. Your mind will be cleared and your efficiency increased. Don’t feel guilty about planning free time. Planned goofing off or relaxing does not add to your frustration.
- Indecisiveness—the realization that you are being indecisive will get you to a quicker decision in the short term, and will remind you to know your priorities and write to-do lists.
- Numbness—time! Just give it time It will pass. And get out of the house!
- Fear—facing your fears is amazingly successful and therapeutic. Most fears are paper-thin and just take a little action, then it is all behind you. Any fear you must or should face, should be done as soon as possible.
- Laziness—find motivation, review your priorities, and/or see a doctor, read inspirational stories. Ask yourself about the path you are on and where is it taking you.
- Exhaustion—rest when exhaustion comes, but more importantly, pace yourself. Priorities change when you are exhausted. Your health and well-being become the top priority. Don’t take on more than you can handle.
- Promises-say no sometimes! Once a promise is made, you must make good on it—especially to your kids. Make your word the cornerstone of the respect others have of you. But make no promises that you may regret later!
- Distractions—you must discipline yourself. Set aside time for those little distractions as a low priority, but don’t let them creep into your day.
These nine frustrations I’ve experienced in the past still occasionally occur, but just like the ‘fear’ frustration, just admitting they exist is the first and fastest way to get past them. Frustrations can occur anywhere—work, home, or play. Knowing the frustration when it happens can get you out of it faster and help prevent taking your frustrations out on others. The last place you want to allow frustrations to get the best of you is at home with your family. Your wife may understand but that will make no less unpleasant. Your children will likely not understand and it will confuse and hurt them. Stop and think about what frustrates you the most. If other people is what frustrates you, don’t expect them to change. You will have to be the one that makes the change and you will be a better person for it!