Effort with ease: What to do when you don’t know what to do


When I am quiet and still, my mind is clear. When I move and speak and act with intention, I know what to do. I call this part of my life, effort with ease. I am working, it takes some concentration and exertion, and I am relaxed.

When I have many tasks tugging on my consciousness, clamoring for my attention, demanding completion, I become overwhelmed. I don’t know what to do. I can’t focus. I am foggy and sometimes feel as though I were going around in circles. Does this ever happen to you?

It may seem counterintuitive, but slowing down actually helps us go faster. Here are some suggestions for developing effort with ease:

1. Write down your priorities, because when there are so many things clamoring for your attention, it is easy to forget. Your list might be only what you want to accomplish this morning, or today. Give yourself permission to set the parameters. Seeing the words in a list helps to keep your attention. Plus, it feels good to cross or check off the completed item.

2. Focus on mindfulness. Keep your mind on the task at hand, putting your entire concentration on this project. Train yourself not to think about what to buy your lover for Valentine’s, or that you need to check the balance in your bank account.

3. If you are working on something particularly challenging, or big, set a timer. Decide how long you want to engage your effort with ease and get to work. Take a break (decide in advance how long and set the timer for this, too), then get back to it.

4. If you find your mind wandering, stop. Close your eyes. Take three deep, slow breaths, keeping your attention on the breath, nothing else. Open your eyes and continue with the task.

5. No multitasking here! Recent research on the brain has shown that the human brain does not function well at multiple tasks (Re: texting and driving). One thing at a time.

6. Remember that tomorrow is another day. Rewrite your priorities, or pick up where you left off. AND be kind to yourself if you didn’t accomplish everything on your list.


If you would like to explore mindfulness, priorities or effort with ease, give me a buzz, or shoot me an email. 512-593-0583. melaniesomerville@yahoo.com

Peace, friends.


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