Embrace the Chaos and Make Progress With Your Daily Goals

“Chaos is a friend of mine.” – Bob Dylan

Okay, wait just one minute. It’s time to hit “pause.”

Bad stress and overwhelming situations are not conducive to your productivity – especially when writing is involved. You can either let the chaos of your home and professional life get you down or perhaps even go through great lengths to beat it into submission.

However, there’s another alterative that many people overlook: get more out of your day by embracing your inevitable schedule, including taking unexpected interruptions into stride.

These tips can help.

Acknowledge Your Chaos

Break down the chaotic situation by dissecting the reason why it is so hectic. Do any (or all) of these sound familiar?

  1. You’re procrastinating.
  2. You’re allowing yourself to be distracted.
  3. You’re not good at communicating your intentions and goals.
  4. You’re not working at a time when you’re most productive.
  5. You’re fighting it.


Tips to Embrace Your Chaos

Here’s how to make progress in your goals despite the chaos:

  1. Procrastination: You’ve heard the old adage, “Procrastination is the thief of time.” Avoid putting things off, especially your writing, or you’re never going to get anything done. Create a to-do list daily and then pick 2-3 of the most important things on that list and do them first.
     
  2. Distractions: Most distractions come from you. If you’re perpetuating your own distractions by constantly checking notifications, social media, email, etc. – learn to unplug. Assign yourself times to review and follow up on email. Get into the habit of only checking social media during periods of downtime. Turn on your devices’ airplane mode (or turn them off if you can!) to hold calls and notifications to focus on important tasks and improve your productivity.
     
  3. Communicate: You’d be surprised how supportive your family, coworkers, and peers will be if you simply share your plans and the objective they will achieve. You don’t have to go through a terrible amount of detail; merely share why it’s important to you, perhaps the purpose it serves, if it benefits them in anyway, and what you need from them (even if it’s just to be quiet).
     
  4. Timing: If you’re not exactly mentally charged first thing in the morning or stumble through a post-lunch stupor, then working on a task that requires your focus isn’t the best use of your time. Find your energy peaks of the day and capitalize on them by paying attention to the times of the day when you mentally power through challenging (and even unpleasant) tasks. Schedule your day around these peaks, but take care – don’t use it as an excuse to procrastinate.
     
  5. Struggle: Embrace it. Don’t ignore what’s happening around you. It may be a much bigger or more important situation than you think and you shouldn’t miss it. If you’re overwhelmed and you feel anxious, angry, frustrated, or completely stressed, then it’s time to take a mental break. Meditate or go outside. Pay attention to anything that is not what you’re currently working on. Look – really look – and take it in without passing judgment. Just observe. This will help you realign your thinking (and attitude) as well as refresh your perspective.

Unless you live under a rock, you’re likely to always have a little chaos in your life, but it doesn’t have to be a bad thing. Adapt to the chaos and learn be flexible using these tips.

What tips do you have to live with chaos? Do you thrive on chaos?


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22 Comments »


1
Karleen Lindsey writes:

No, I definitely don’t thrive on chaos. Thanks for the tips here on how to deal with it. My 88 yr old mother with early dementia is living with me and that is very chaotic at times, especially when I’m trying to work online and she has the TV blaring or is constantly talking to me. Asking for some quiet time just doesn’t work because she forgets after a couple minutes.

So what I have found I have to do is get up very early to work online before she gets up. That works for me because I’m a morning person, but even then it just isn’t enough time and it leaves me a bit tired during my day job. But I do what I have to do to try and make this work.

I’m trying to learn to embrace the chaos, which involves a lot more than just life with my elderly mom. Sometimes just getting away from everything and taking my dog for a walk does wonders!

Comment provided January 27, 2014 at 10:01 AM

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Good for you, Karleen!

Way to stick to your goals when we don’t always have control of what happens around us. :)

~Vanessa

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2

Without chaos, our life is meaningless. Actually chaos makes it interesting and thrilling. Like riding along with the waves . People that admire chaos will never call them so. Take it head on…that is all required…looks easier when said….but with practice, an opportunity will rise up for you.

Comment provided January 27, 2014 at 10:52 AM

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3
les rogers writes:

Good tips. I’ve been procrastinating in starting a new site up for a long time now. Will take time to acknowledge specifically what my problem is with getting to it.

Comment provided January 27, 2014 at 11:25 AM

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4
Mark writes:

Finding a place and time where you can wall yourself off in order to focus on what needs to be accomplished is extremely helpful for me.

Comment provided January 27, 2014 at 11:44 AM

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5
Matthew Morris writes:

I’ll admit guilt to one and two. I have so many writing tasks that I should be doing that I throw my hands up and ignore all of them and pick something essentially unproductive to do instead.

Comment provided January 27, 2014 at 2:54 PM

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6
Carlos Giraldo writes:

Spot on! Yes, there are days I procrastinate by simply clicking the inbox and checking the latest and greatest. Fortunately I have followed your advice and use Must Do lists, allow my wife to keep me on track (I share some, not all things I must do) and timing is everything. I need a quiet time to get my thoughts in order before I start pecking away at my keyboard. And, I love living the struggle. What’s the fun of being perfect.

Comment provided January 27, 2014 at 4:41 PM

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7
Michael Wiener writes:

Very inspiring article. Just before the year 2013 ended, I realized that chaotic or negative things are not bad at all. Pondering on it in a sincere sense makes the positive things come out from those considered negatives or chaotic. This is such a very helpful tips for those who are looking life negatively and not realizing the results can be reverse if one take a sincere look at those chaos.

Comment provided January 27, 2014 at 6:32 PM

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8
Gracious Store writes:

I wonder if there are people whose daily life is smooth. If there are, please I will like to trade places with them. Most of my days are chaotic and the way I deal with those chaos is to sort things out according to priority, and handle them in that order, Most of often than not I manage to find order in the chaos.

Comment provided January 27, 2014 at 9:12 PM

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9
Jwen Garcia writes:

I am guilty to some of these points..Before I go to bed, I have this thing in mind, that I will strive to become better tomorrow..I need to accomplish a lot of things tomorrow… But when that time comes, I easily get distracted… that is something I am really striving right now.. your tips are helpful.

Comment provided January 27, 2014 at 10:13 PM

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10
Maria Cristini writes:

I just wrote these words, expressing how I feel about chaos, in an email and then noticed your article on chaos – serendipity. These words express my primary thought about chaos – and being a coach, I’ve seen a lot of chaos come and go: “You know when it comes to chaos, I know there’s always light at the end of the tunnel — chaos is a doorway to change, and typically for the better. So it’s best to embrace the mess and work with it.”

Comment provided January 28, 2014 at 12:29 AM

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11

Fantastic! Thanks and a blessed day all!

Comment provided January 28, 2014 at 3:00 AM

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12
Andy Gelder writes:

Great content in this article..I procrastinate terribly and get distracted so easily with my social media notifications going off all the while. I have actually just started leaving my phone in another room when I am on task and closing my social media tabs down too. And chaos, there is almost always order there if you wish to find it. Be solution conscious. When something goes wrong your first though should always be..what’s the solution to this problem and how fast can I get back on track.

Comment provided January 28, 2014 at 7:24 AM

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Sounds like a great plan, Andy!

~Vanessa

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13
Mike Andrews writes:

For me one good way of coping with bad stress is to continue writing no matter how bad it is. This might seem like the hard way but helps to occupy the mind so reducing the amount of thinking about the stressful situation and does what I as a writer want to do, that is to write. Why waste time trying to sort out a stressful situation when one can be writing. As I am writing this comment I feel stressed but I still manage to make a good one.

Comment provided January 28, 2014 at 11:13 AM

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14

Chaos shows up at the most unexpected times, probably one of the defining characteristics of chaos, showing up with a big finger sign twirling around in front of our faces.

Since we know this is probably going to happen on a consistent basis (there’s an oxymoron for you, consistent chaos) we can decide that is going to be the reality of a situation and do what we can to deal with it. Often, the best solutions for business problems come form needing to make decisions in a split second because of incoming fire.

Sometimes not, but the number of times that a situation shows up demanding our complete and undivided attention and helping us focus our knowledge, is going to increase the fuller our lives become.

So we might as well go with it. Make the plan, execute the plan, and deal with the bumps when they show up.

Comment provided January 29, 2014 at 2:13 PM

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15
Anuj writes:

This is very useful information shared here. I am really thankful for this.

Comment provided February 8, 2014 at 2:27 AM

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16
Shasi Nair writes:

Great tips. I could relate myself here on two things. One is doing too many things at the same time and the second is “Distractions” by constantly checking emails, notifications etc. No chaos as such but it calls for discipline. Thanks for hammering it in through your article, it is a wake up call required sometimes!!

Comment provided February 21, 2015 at 1:38 AM

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17
Ampra Xu writes:

I hope I can write articles with a daily goal. For example, I set three titles for me to write. However, when I write I cannot stick to it because these titles may not be that close to what I will write. Some also suggest we should have a weekly or monthly plan, but I find if I stick to the plan, I cannot write well; if I don’t stick to the plan, I will write more freely and better. But I find many times I cannot put down a word at all. And so I try to write in a free style, and so far it is not bad. I hope to improve it and become much better. This article is helpful and suggestive. I need to work much harder to write better content in a planned manner.

Comment provided March 1, 2015 at 8:40 PM

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Michael Wiener writes:

If you can write more while not having a plan of writing, that means you’re enjoying in doing it. On the contrary, you can’t write a lot when sticking to a plan because you force yourself, and if you force yourself, you’re not enjoying and your mind tends to wander and don’t accomplish many things, in short you become inefficient.

My suggestion, make a plan that is not very difficult to stick and prioritize in your plan the article titles you like most in writing, that way you’ll be able to write more and enjoy and more ideas come into flow for the subsequent topics you want to write on.

And, particularly during morning… set aside a few minutes quieting yourself. Yes, I’m talking about short meditation because it’s helpful, and of course enjoyable once you make it a habit.

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18
Margarita Fuks writes:

Thank you for this! This article is helpful and suggestive…

Comment provided March 30, 2015 at 2:41 AM

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19
afolabi yusuf writes:

The article is very very helpful.

Comment provided August 22, 2015 at 2:20 PM

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