She was going to explode…I was sure of it.
I was captain of my high school’s speech team (neeeerrrd!), and I often stayed after school to practice with my teammates.
One day, a group of us were rehearsing when my teammate T grabbed her water bottle quickly.
“Oh my god, I’m SO thirsty!” she exclaimed.
Suddenly, she got this weird, worried look on her face.
“But I have to pee too!”
Then T did the strangest thing I’ve ever seen. She threw her head back and began gulping down her water while at the same time hopping around and squeezing her legs together in the classic “gotta pee” dance.
Finally, she slammed her bottle down on the nearest desk and ran out of the room as fast as she could.
My friend S shook her head and said, “That happens to me all the time.”
What in the world? Didn’t T know that when you’re thirsty AND you have to pee, you should always go pee first?
I can assure you that this bizarre behavior is not limited to teenagers. I know plenty of adults who don’t understand the concept of “first things first.”
Where do we start?
By blindly charging ahead without considering what things are truly most important for our well-being, we could end up causing big problems for ourselves down the line. Or even end up in a worse situation than when we started.
Whenever you’re feeling overwhelmed, take breath and remember first things first.
“First Things First” Examples
- Eat something before a job interview (saves you from the embarrassment of a grumbly tummy)
- Wash your face before going to sleep (saves you from breakouts)
- Feed the dog before sitting down to your family dinner (saves you from a begging pooch)
- Prioritize your to-do list before starting your workday (saves you from wasting time on unimportant tasks)
- Talk about where your relationship is heading before moving in with your partner (saves you from heartbreak…and some might argue that they should put a ring on it first!)
By taking a step back and asking yourself, “What’s the very first thing I need to do?” you can begin to make progress in a logical way. You won’t have to backtrack later to do an important step you missed.
Remembering “first things first” will also help you appreciate your accomplishments even if you think you’re moving slowly.
I’ve said it before—baby steps count! And I’d rather you take teeny tiny baby steps than burn yourself out.
Do you remember “first things first”?
In the comments below, let me know your best tips for avoiding overwhelm and focusing on your most important tasks.
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