Carousels and chaos have so much in common, from my way of thinking. They go ’round and ’round, parts go up and down, there’s noise, and people, and moving parts — just lots going on. One difference is that people enjoy carousels but think they should rid their lives of chaos. I think that the attitude of not having chaos in your life needs to be explored.
Most everyone has chaos in their life. Period. No way around it. It’s your attitude about the chaos that makes the difference. If you hate it then you make yourself miserable, and probably attract more chaos and thus misery.
However, if you love your chaos you’re in a good spot. You may have more chaos in your life than you want, or it’s out of control, but at least you aren’t making yourself miserable by hating it. You can learn to manage your chaos. Really!
Let me share more about that, after I tell you how I came to this.
Attending conferences is a great way to get jazzed about your work, and refreshed and refocused with new ideas. It adds to the chaos in your life, but that’s not always a bad thing. It adds to the chaos in your life temporarily, but most say they “get back to normal” quickly. Inevitably you fall behind on work, emails, and social activities, but in my experience, the new friends and associates, ideas, and energies more than make up for the downside of attending conferences.
That re-energizing and refocusing are what happened to me lately. I’ve attended several conferences this year but this last one pulled them all together at the right time for me. I spent three days with an amazing group of people who are in various stages of business development and expansion. Wow! The energy was palpable. Seeing the comments they are making in our Facebook group of what they are doing with their energy and ideas, and new friendships, is wonderful too.
My biggest win was that I gained a fresher and tighter focus on my message to the world. The most immediate take-away for me was the recognition that I want to re-create the gift I’m offering for signing up for my newsletter. And I want to share that gift with those who already signed up.
After telling dozens of people about what I do, I noticed that I was sharing the notion that I help people reduce the chaos in their lives and get more focused, balanced, and joyous. Initially I thought that meant that giving people a tool and inspiration to manage their time better was what I was offering. And I do that in the first course offered. But, that didn’t seem good enough to me.
By digging deeper I realized that it’s the chaos in people’s lives that gets in the way of their joy and focus. Or really, their lack of control and appreciation of their chaos that gets in their way. Time management can help control the chaos, but that’s only a partial solution. I realized that teaching people how to love and control their chaos was really my key to helping people get focused, balanced, and joyous.
What’s this about — loving your chaos? Interesting concept, isn’t it. Chaos keeps you on your toes, moving, and thinking fast. Action is one of the ingredients of a high performing life, of productivity, and of getting things done. When you love and control your chaos you are action.
One of my careers was as a bed and breakfast innkeeper. I loved it! And, if I may say so myself, I was quite good at it. Part of what I loved was the variety that came about because of the different mix of guests, staff, and vendors coming in throughout the day, and the interesting phone calls I’d get. I moved from person to issue, to person to situation, to person to check in, to person to event, to person to reservation, to person to check out — all day, every day. It was invigorating!
To lots of people I interacted with or who sat on the sidelines watching, they thought the inn’s “back stage” — the office — was total chaos. To me, it was a living being that needed a variety of attention. I think it was that loving the variety, accepting that interruptions happen, and that serving people was all part of the day that let me love the chaos. In fact, I didn’t see it as chaos at all. I saw it as “innkeeping”.
When we love what we do all the details that go into making it a job, hobby, service, or whatever, don’t seem chaotic. It’s loving what you do that lets the chaos be energizing, satisfying, and crazy. Crazy is good!
Even when you love chaos you may have to manage your time, and control the chaos. You might have to say “No” to some things that come your way, or swap the new activity for an old activity. Delegating is another way of learning to control your chaos and manage your time. And sometimes, you just have to delay a project until you can reasonably add it to your list.
I’m stepping out onto a limb here: you may not even need time management if you control your chaos adequately. Some things need to be done at specific times, but many things in our lives can be done as they happen. But your chaos can become overwhelming if you don’t manage it, and that’s when you start to resent your chaos, rather than love it.
Cull your activities so your chaos stays manageable and so you keep that love of your chaotic life. Life is a grand adventure. It’s full of opportunity, and activity, and fun. Make the most of it.
My Chaos Management Tool is yours to use to get control of your chaos. Along the way, maybe you’ll find the joy in your life and chaos and really shine.
The carousel has chaos with the going ’round and ’round, up and down, noise, people, lights, and everything. Your life has that same kind of chaos. If you don’t already, can you come to love that chaos you call life, or work, or kids, or…, just as you love the chaos of the carousel?