There are times when life gets pretty overwhelming and as a result you feel like your life is totally out of control. This is usually due to a hectic work schedule and family responsibilities that need to be attended to. There are obviously other things that take up your time and pull you in many different directions and the nose dive begins.
I know the stress this can bring which can easily lead to depression, reduced productivity and a general disconnect with people around you. Sometimes this happens seasonally and then it gets better after some time and other times it’s due to minor changes that happen without you even noticing.
Unfortunately we tend to realize it when we are already in a downward spiral or nose dive. Being in a slump is not a nice place to be but it’s not all doom and gloom. When you find yourself in a slump and seemingly losing your mind there are steps that you can take to get yourself back on track to achieving your goals:
1. Take it to God in prayer
For most people turning to God in times of trouble comes about as a last resort instead of being the One to turn to in the first place. This is especially true of men because we like being in control of our situation. It tends to be easier for women as they are more relational than men.
“From the end of the earth I will cry to You, When my heart is overwhelmed; Lead me to the rock that is higher than I.” ~ Psalm 61:2
Trying to do things in your own strength tends to lead to frustration and exhaustion. Even though the natural tendency is to want to solve problems ourselves it is best to reach out to God and trust Him with our problems.
2. Narrow down to most important tasks
There’s a law called the Pareto principle or the 80/20 rule which basically states that, “for many events, roughly 80% of the effects come from 20% of the causes.” Identify the tasks that will give you the greatest return and focus on getting those done first.
Other tasks are not necessarily less important but will not be the most beneficial in the immediate term. Those tasks can be delegated to others so that you can focus on the most important ones.
In business for example 20% of products or services bring 80% of the revenue. In sports it’s a few key players that are responsible for almost 80% of the team’s success. While you should not neglect the other less important things more attention should be given to the most important.
3. Get your priorities in order
For the most part you nose dive when priorities are out of order. It’s not always obvious what the consequences will be until we take time to analyze them. Priorities also reflect what it is that you value in life, that is, where your heart is.
I learned the right order of priorities from a book I read and it is as follows – God, wife, children (or family), ministry, career.
Your relationship with God is the most important aspect of your life followed by family. These are so important because they are based on covenant. Your work and career is also important but it can change from time to time but your relationships with God and family are for life.
4. Get some wins under your belt
It takes a few wins to get you back on the right track. Making progress brings a level of satisfaction and becomes a platform on which to build upon for more success. The biggest challenge is overcoming the inertia but once you do it becomes easier to get more wins.
5. Build on the momentum
Having momentum is one of the best assets that you can have on your side. The more you win the more you win. It’s easier to navigate new territory when things are going well for you. John Maxwell says momentum is a leader’s best friend.
A mistake some people make is become complacent when they experience a little bit of success. Instead of relaxing more effort should be put in to achieve more and more results to maintain a good level of progress.