'It takes a lot of time, focus and energy to realize how amazing it is to be an ocean with your own tides every month.'
– Inga Musicio
Whether small or large, short-term or long-term - I have often tortured myself with decisions.
What should I cook for dinner? Which work should I do first? Which invitation to follow?
Everything seemed equally important. I didn't want to disappoint anyone and do everything perfectly. If a friend or colleague came up to me, he or she didn't have to finish the question: Yes, of course I have time, I'm happy to help!
I ran after my to-do list all day, working through it item by item. And still didn't seem to be making any progress.
I completely ignored my body's needs. I was geared for performance. Abdominal pain during my menstruation? A warming pad on top and carried on. Cramps? Put a pill in and focus on the next step.
By saying yes to everything, I was saying no to myself and really getting nothing done. A large part of my energy and attention flowed into the question: How am I supposed to reconcile everything?
I went in circles until I finally realized I was asking the wrong question all along. Instead of asking, 'WHAT IS REALLY IMPORTANT', I wanted to force a 'HOW DO I DO EVERYTHING'.
It is not necessary to do everything. Because not everything is equally important.
I didn't set any priorities and therefore couldn't really devote myself to anything.
But how should I decide what is really important?
In this post you will find out
- How to learn to listen to your gut feeling again
- Which is why not everything has to be trimmed for performance
- Why 'No' should be your new favorite word
- How Lagom helps you make decisions
1 Listen to your gut feeling
A great mantra when it comes to decision making comes from Derek Sivers.
Either it's a 'hell yes' or it's a 'no'.
When you start following this rule, your work list will be shorter and more importantly prioritized. The thought 'I should still...' no longer shoots through your head, because you always work on the most important things first.
Your well-being and your needs always come first. On certain days in the cycle, the energy bubbles up. Then you can fully immerse yourself in the work; Whether it's cleaning out the closet, a new customer project or deepening a hobby.
Follow your 'hell yes!'.
But if you realize that you need time for yourself, listen to your body. Most of the time, a guilty conscience sets in: I should... I don't know how to refuse... I have to... I did it yesterday too...
Sentences like these show that the work is not right at the moment. Take your needs seriously.
2 Performance isn't everything
You may not realize it consciously, but during menstruation your body is working at full speed. Designing everything for performance on the outside at this time is a double burden.
In the western world everything possible is done to hide menstruation. She is said to be invisible, both physically and psychologically. Women have to function like machines even during menstruation.
In other cultures there are certain rules on how women should behave during menstruation. In India, for example, they sleep on the balcony during this time and are not allowed to enter the field or kitchen. Although these rules have degenerated into restrictive dogmas today, they originally had a positive purpose: those who are not allowed in the kitchen or field cannot work, and those who have their own storage space can sleep undisturbed. Women can focus on their recovery, just what their body needs right now.
3 Learn to say 'no'
Make your 'yes' something worthwhile. Yes is usually said too quickly out of fear of not being liked otherwise. But if you say 'yes' to everything and everyone, the most important thing gets lost, which is yourself.
If you say no to someone else, you lose:
- the feeling of being overwhelmed
- the feeling that time is slipping between your fingers
- Work and tasks that take you away from your goal, your interests and your joy.
It's your life, you decide what's important to you. Always ask yourself: is it a hell yes?
If not, you know it doesn't belong in your life.
Say no to nothing. Say no to inappropriate things. Say no when you feel no.
4 Make decisions with Lagom
'Lagom' in Swedish means 'not too much and not too little, but just right'. It's a unit of measure that can mean something different for everyone personally. Lagom is not constant and can be applied to both things and activities.
A coffee break can come at just the right time, so it can be lagom. A family outing that strengthens the community is lagom. Likewise, a healthy meal that keeps you energized is lagom. A tidy wardrobe with your favorite items is lagom.
During your menstruation, your energy level is different. The ideal workload is now a different lagom. The way you recharge your batteries can also be different during this time. Your need for companionship may be a different lagom. This is normal and correct. We are cyclic beings.
Living Lagom means knowing your priorities. Decide what is important to you, in this moment, in this phase of your life. Listen to your gut, only do things that make you say 'Hell yes!' trigger and make yourself a priority again.
Live more Lagom.
About the author:
Corinne Tolotto is a certified organization coach. On her blog she writes about productivity, tidying up and sustainability. She helps her customers to create a life free of ballast, stress and clutter through Lagom.