I walk through my door after a long day at work hoping for a reprieve from the day’s stress.
My hope is instantly crushed with wailing from my children causing immediate fight or flight mode.
I pull them apart from pummeling each other and as calm and composed as I can (not very calm and composed) try to deescalate the situation.
My wife has been dealing with it all day, is spent and in dire need of a break.
We get the situation under control until the next battle…dinner time and then the next one after that bedtime only to start it all over again tomorrow.
Sometimes it seems life is total chaos and is a lesson in suffering.
And yet we continue to plow forward and somehow most of the time stay afloat.
This is one way to look at these situations, but NOT the only way.
Let’s look at a way to strategize your life for better thinking.
1. Pick a priority.
Everything cannot be a priority by definition.
Further, it is optimal to have ONE priority.
How do you pick between career, health, family, etc.?
Picking a priority does not mean neglecting everything else.
Picking a priority allows for structure the enemy of chaos.
2. Structure your life around your priority.
As many things as possible should support not detract from your priority.
Your family, health, and career can be designed to support one another and can be designed to synergize with your top priority.
3. Eliminate, mitigate, or delegate everything else.
If something does not support your priority get it off your plate one way or another.
Spend your life-time on the things that align with, support, and synergize with your priority.
What does all of this have to do with screaming children, stress at work, and chaotic days…
When I orient my habits, actions, behaviors, and thoughts in alignment with my priority chaos starts feeling like part of the plan.
I am in a better mental and emotional space to deal with whatever is thrown at me because I have less on my plate and what is on my plate has been oriented to be a part of the solution.
Of course, things will knock you off course, as is life, but it is easier to get back on course when you use the three steps outlined above.
The way you think about, orient, and prioritize your life has a huge impact on your quality of life and how you handle stress.
Brett “Re-Orient” Denton