This week has been really long, and full of work. My Asana board has never been so full, even without the few personal tasks I neglected to add to my official list. Even now after checking so many things off, I still feel sort of stressed to see the long lists of completed tasks, almost as if I can’t quite believe I finished each one. And if I look ahead to today’s list, I feel anxious and worry I won’t get everything done in time.
I once heard a quote that said something like, “The present is never overwhelming, only the future and the past.” Sometimes we feel overwhelmed in the present moment, if we’re thinking about the future or the past. But in the present moment, things are not overwhelming. In the present, you only have one thing to do: the current thing you’re doing. We can usually handle the present moment.
And that’s how it’s felt this week. I’ve noticed that the more present I can be with whatever I’m doing, the less stressed I feel. I can complete each task I have to do one at a time, without thinking about everything to come after. I can actually be in flow more often than not, working efficiently and in a focused way. I plan out what I need to do, and then I trust my intuition to guide me to the next task, and the next one, and the next one.
We get into trouble when we let thoughts of the future creep in and throw us off our game. Future-tripping and worry take us out of the moment, and make our overall experience worse. Not to mention that letting fear seep in tends to decrease the quality of what we’re doing, because we end up rushing and hurried.
I get it: it’s harder to stay present and trusting! It’s challenging to keep a calm confidence that everything will get done if you just keep putting one foot in front of the other. But it’s also a more pleasant (and efficient!) way to be in the world.