avoiding muppet flail

I prefer to view my calendar in a rolling format, the names of months are an arbitrary framework that don’t always mesh with my deadlines. I’ve found that when the month name changes, something often gets triggered to cause a shift in mindset. It’s not always a helpful one either. In less than two weeks I have assorted large deadlines to meet. Yes, I completed my monthly review and started planning yesterday. However, when I woke up this morning I knew that despite the careful planning and consistent work, I was close to muppet flail mode.

I took three simple steps to carry on, focus, and get on with the things that matter.


First, I paused. I’m stressed about meeting the deadlines with work product that I’m proud of. As I’m stepping out of my comfort zone for some of these projects, imposter syndrome is trying to take over and convince me that I know nothing. My response to this is to go into perfectionism mode, chain myself to my desk, and focus on every minute detail. I learned long ago that is not productive and increases stress and frustration. So, I paused and took myself out for coffee.


Yes, I’m always evaluating and planning! When I sat down with my coffee, I made a list of tasks that would help me to continue to move forward with my deadlines that I could do while I sipped. These tasks aren’t deep work, but the little nagging ones that were cluttering my brain. For example, I need to balance several writing obligations with client work. To accomplish this, I know I need to revise my blog posting schedule and shift to a biweekly format. It’s not challenging to figure this out, but I needed to stop and look at a calendar. I’ve put this off for a few weeks even though I knew I wanted to initiate the change this month.

Now get (back) to work

That simple pause allowed me to revise my plan. Despite a cup of coffee, I left feeling calmer and able to return to my desk to focus on other projects. As a treat, I stopped first to savor my peonies. Some issues on a project that felt overwhelming this morning are now approachable.

As months and seasons change it’s tempting to want to make massive revisions to how things are done and attempt to do everything at once. This is true no matter how many plans are made, and reviews completed. Small simple steps can make a significant difference!