There’s this inner conflict that comes with being a multipotentialite: on one hand, we want to explore and open up our world to new ideas, people and projects. Multipods crave experience.
On the other hand, we need to feel like we’re on solid ground physically and emotionally, which means not being too stressed, overwhelmed or distracted.
The advice we’re typically given is that we should focus on one thing, otherwise we’ll never get anything done or amount to anything. As we know, that isn’t true, and it isn’t helpful advice for multipotentialites. When multipods restrict our focus to a single thing for long periods of time, we become bored and frustrated. We also don’t get to make use of our super powers.
On the other hand, giving ourselves free reign to explore everything at the drop of a hat, at the same time, definitely leads to information overload and wheel-spinning. Multipotentialites need to find a balance. We need boundaries. And those boundaries look different for each of us.
Getting things done during difficult times
Many of us are especially in need of boundaries now, with the state of things. I’ve noticed that a lot of people, multipotentialite and specialists alike, seem to be feeling incredibly overwhelmed and distracted right now.
Some of us are dealing with a lot of fear, anger and sadness. Many of us (raises hand) have been reading news headlines, and scrolling Facebook obsessively for months. It’s just been… a lot.
Here are a few tips to help you reinstate some order and calm in your life so that you can refocus on your multipotentialite projects and bring out your best work.
1. Remind yourself of your priorities
What were you working on before everything got crazy? What were your big goals? Are you still excited about them?
If you’re feeling afraid right now, try to put that fear aside for a minute, close your eyes and let yourself daydream. If you could work on anything right now, what would it be? How would that feel?
Narrow it down to 1-4 projects and try to spend time on one or more of these projects each day. If possible, do that work before you check your email and social media. That’s easier said than done. But if you can work on a priority project before getting swept up in the drama around you, you’ll feel infinitely more centered as you go about your day.
2. Adhere to the Rule of Cs
Most of our activities can be grouped into one of three categories: connecting, consuming and creating.
- Some examples of connecting activities are: having a conversation, writing an email and texting.
- Some examples of consuming activities are: reading a book or article and doing research.
- Some examples of creating activities are: writing, brainstorming a business idea and making art.
Here’s the rule: You can connect and consume at the same time (e.g. texting with a friend while you read an article and listen to a podcast), but when you create, you should only create. Don’t combine creating activities with either consuming or connecting.
If you’re anything like me, your consumption has likely been through the roof lately. Carve out some dedicated creating time and just create, if only for a few blissful minutes. Set a timer if it helps.
3. Temporarily pare down your projects
In difficult times, it can be helpful to pare down your projects and take on less. Don’t worry, you won’t lose your multipotentialite badge if you just focus on one thing for a few months.
It’s okay to slow down, take breaks from your projects and lower your expectations for yourself. Call it a much-needed act of self-care.
This is both the most obvious and hardest advice to follow. If possible, try to disconnect from the things that distract and overwhelm you. That might mean deleting social media apps from your phone, not logging in at all or avoiding certain people and/or topics.
I downgraded to a dumb phone a while back, and that helped with my information addiction. But it is hard. I still find myself scrolling through news feeds when I’m on my laptop. Do what you can. Screen-addiction is real, but disconnecting does get easier the more you do it.
5. Get Support
You may not need to cut everything out of your life to get back on solid ground. In fact, there might be some things that you can add to your life to help support your priority projects.
If you’re trying to write a novel, could you join a writing class to give you some structure and accountability? If you’re looking for a new direction in your career, could you find or start a supportive group to bat ideas around with? What could you add to your life to help support your projects?
Resources to Help Support Your Many Projects
If you’re looking for some affordable resources to help support your projects, check back here next week because I’ll be running my annual holiday sale here on Puttylike. From Dec 6-7, you’ll be able to buy Renaissance Business, Productivity for Multipotentialites and Multi-Passionate Branding for 40% off!
I only run sales like this about once a year (I think I actually skipped it last year, so we’re definitely due for a sweet sale).
But here’s the thing: I don’t want these courses to be distractions for you. I want them to be resources that genuinely support your projects and help you reach your goals. And I believe that they can serve that role.
So with that said, check your email next Tuesday, Dec 6 for your festive discount code.
How do deal with information overload during difficult times (or just anytime)? Got any tips to share with your fellow multipods?
Emilie Wapnick is the Founder and Creative Director at Puttylike, where she helps multipotentialites integrate ALL of their interests into their lives. Unable to settle on one path herself, Emilie studied music, art, film production and law, graduating from the Law Faculty at McGill University. She is an occasional rock star, a paleo-friendly eater and a wannabe
scientist carpenter. Learn more about Emilie here.