Underlying chaotic situations are emotional energies that you should recognize, harness and channel productively. You never know the wealth of fuel for innovation and creativity you’re sitting upon until you activate it.Deborah Adeojo, Productive Way to Manage Chaos
Word usage: Chaos (a state of disorganization); Chaotic (lacking a visible order or organization)
Recently, my life has been a bit chaotic. I woke up a while ago to realize that the deadlines that were once miles away in what seemed like a minute ago are now staring at me right in the face like the mean fun-sucking gods they are. Yet, the everyday responsibilities of being human and woman won’t give me a total break to focus and sacrifice to these gods knowing they cannot be appeased when their time elapses. My laundry’s is too proud to do itself; my meals wont prepare themselves; my bed wont lay itself; and my room has simply refused to stay tidy. It’s chaos, cHaOs, CHAOS! What did I do? Regroup and soar on it’s wings.
While I’m not encouraging you to leave things to last minute, there are times that things do come last minute. And there are times when the chaos we have to deal with has to do with the instabilities triggered by relationship strains or break-ups, pressures at work or from home, financial pressure, the pressure of not having access to certain basic resources etc. In life, chaos is bound to happen.
Sadly, in another bad hand we’ve been dealt, most women are groomed to be chaos averse. They don’t seem to be able to function in the midst of it. This standard of being perpetually “prim and put-together” that we constantly aspire to as a product of internalized stereotypical trainings not only sabotages our ability to embrace and enjoy “messy” creative processes but also makes us highly susceptible to productivity paralysis in the face of life’s unplanned chaotic events.
The humbling reality is that you won’t always be “put together”. Your life will somehow sometimes be ruffled by unexpected realities. You won’t always have the energy or time to attend to things you assume that your sanity is hinged upon. The order you are accustomed to was not built to defy intrusion. So how do you deal with chaos? Both the ones you may invent and the ones thrust upon you by change and other realities of life.
Refocus Your Focus
You must learn to refocus your focus every time reality demands for it. This simply means identifying what is important and urgent per time and (re)focusing on that. I must state here that it’s wearisome to attempt the difficult job of compartmentalizing our lives like people often recommend. Personally, all areas of my life are so intricately woven together in a mesh that attempting to compartmentalize is not only unrealistic but also an invitation to structural collapse. My emotions, work, relationships, finance, health, faith etc. are all interconnected and affect each other to certain degrees. Nevertheless, I’ve mastered the art of zooming in on the most important action areas in my life per time. The things that can survive waiting simply wait. Also note that obsessing over achieving equilibrium in all areas at all times will rob you of the time and energy needed for the really important and urgent functions. Even in the midst of chaos, life remains in constant motion so learn to zoom in and zoom out as your reality demands.
The events that happen to you don’t define how you experience life until you internalize themDeborah Adeojo, Productive Ways to Manage Chaos
Nevertheless, Make Room
I do this every other time without guilt especially with my unfolded laundry. If I can’t fold it away yet (for whatever reason), I leave it on the bed and when I need to sleep, I simply make room and sleep. How can I do that? Well, Jesus slept in the boat during a raging storm so I guess peace in chaos runs in the family (lol). Knowing what to be bothered by and how to be bothered them is one thing I’ve learnt from observing some productive people in my life. You can’t be bothered by everything at the expense of important priorities. So, you’ve got to know when to push a break-up aside and focus on your studies. You’ve got to know when to make room to stay happily alive in spite of financial pressures.
It is important to note that the events that happen to you externally don’t define how you experience life until you internalize them. T.D Jakes once said that it is not the water around the boat that sinks it but the water that gets into the boat. So keep the water out! Keep a close watch on the inner dialogue you have with yourself about yourself and about the events in your life and be quick to mute voices around you that inspire or amplify internal instability. Also, you’ve got to learn to live your daily life so beautifully that your chaotic realities don’t even have the opportunity to announce themselves. Note that by making room in chaos, you’re not ignoring realities; you’re simply refusing to validate their presence and dis-empower them from invading your limited resource of energy and time at the expense of more important and beneficial activities.
Yes! Leverage chaos. Chaos itself is fuel. The best way I can make that statement relatable is with your body’s response to threats even when you are physically tired. In an instance, adrenaline is released into your blood stream and triggers unexpected and sometimes unprecedented physical reactions. Underlying chaotic situations are emotional energies that you should recognize, harness and channel productively. You never know the wealth of fuel for innovation and creativity you’re sitting upon until you activate it.
It’s important to add that chaos seldom diffuses into thing air. It requires your action to go away. However, it’s beneficial that you are in charge of how and when you attend to it. It is also normal to feel overwhelmed and ask for help from trusted allies to restore some form of decorum around your life. And please, don’t feel guilty for it.
In spite whatever, Thrive!
I know I shook some home economics tables. I’m in my room…