Just Keep Swimming

This week, I was reminded of one of my favorite motivational time management quotes. It was spoken by none other than Dory, the blue fish in Disney’s well-known time management film, “Finding Nemo.

What? You didn’t know “Finding Nemo” was a film about time management? OK, well, maybe not entirely, but whether or not Disney intended it this way, there are many embedded lessons about dedication and time/stress management.

Time Management in the Ocean

The main character, Marlin, loses his son and sets off on a mission to find him. He is extremely dedicated to his quest, but is becoming overwhelmed by his stress and desperation. That’s when is travel companion, a blue fish named Dory, utters her famous line:

“Just Keep Swimming.”

Basically, stop using your precious time and energy to worry about everything and just calmly keep moving forward. Variations of this advice are everywhere, from the famous quote: “The longest journey begins with a single step,” to my own story about the two cows grazing in a field. Dory’s idea is far from new, but her words are unique in their simplicity. Just….keep…swimming.

We’ve All Been Marlin

Haven’t we all been there before? Wanting to bury our head in our hands after becoming lost in a seemingly endless ocean of stressful work? Stress is a natural part of life and we are all going to feel it from time to time, but that doesn’t mean we can’t do everything in our power to get rid of it as soon as possible so it doesn’t slow us down.

Here are three simple ways you can keep from becoming overwhelmed with your work:

1) Think of it in smaller chunks

As you sit down to begin a large “Meat” task in your Time Diet, don’t think of it as one big project. Think of it only in terms of what you plan to accomplish that day.

2) Take a break before you need it

We all know how important Desserts are in your day. Don’t wait until you hit a wall with your work to give yourself a break. By then, it’s too late and you’re already stressed.

3) Write down your timeline

Plotting out which parts of a task you plan to complete when can be very reassuring. Then, when you catch yourself muttering, “How in the world will I ever get this all done?” you need only look at your calendar to answer your question.

This week, do not let stress overwhelm you and slow you down. Keep moving forward. Your friends, your family, and maybe even this blog can serve as a life preserver when you feel like you’re drowning, but YOU have the power to “just keep swimming.”

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Photo Credit: Copyright Benson Kua.