You are living in an ‘express’ mode. Taking up every task or chore that comes your way. No time for a break or lunch cos the more work you can get done, the better. Sounds like the real thing isn’t it?
Be it work or at home, we jump from one meeting to another, send reports, reply e-mails, follow up, get back into a carousel of meetings, discussions & planning and more. At home, there’s an endless cycle of cleaning, cooking, washing and some additional emotion management and chaos with kids. (LoL)
This leaves us tired and worn out by the end. Even then we feel guilty of not getting all items ticked off from our list.
Trust me, tasks are always going to be around. They won’t leave you.
Some days do demand a lot from us. We need to get more things done. It’s the need of the hour and you may be that hero with a cape who could save the day.
For instance, there could be a need for new business. So, even after a hard day’s work, you are required on a 3:30 AM IST meeting over the phone to speak with a customer at the other end of the world.
You may need to email out a report urgently for management review that’s up tomorrow.
There could be a need to help your kid finish an assignment that is due tomorrow. So you would sit up and help. (Of course, after calming down from the yelling session because your child forgot to finish their homework on time)
Sometimes it’s inevitable to push things for later. Duty calls.
We feel like we can be the Energizer bunny. Anyone remember that commercial where the bunny keeps on playing the drum?
It just keeps going and going and going but not forever. What we miss seeing in the commercial is that once the battery is drained out, it needs a recharge or even worse a replacement.
What about us? Can we get replaced? Ponder that.
Our family loves us and needs us. There’s no other version of us.
When was the last time we enjoyed the morning sun?
When was the last time we ate our food, remembering to chew it well?
And if we find ourselves working on a fast track without taking an essential pause, then it’s time we take a closer look at our task list.
The ‘fast’ track that we may be living on is not about speed or being active. The world considers it productive. But it’s not relevant in all cases.
Fast is about Finding A Smooth Tempo.
(that’s an acronym I coined.)
Fast is about doing the right things the right way, with the right intent and result.
People forget how fast you did a job. But they remember how well you did it.
Howard W Newton
There will always be more things to be done and dusted. Our list would never be empty. New items would get added. So, what do we do?
Here are some approaches we could use.
Write down your task list. Yes, write it down. Even the ones that are wishful or hopeful. (When you have it in front of you, you will not miss it.)
Simplify your task list. Make it practical.
Things that could be moved for later, push it for later. (you can read more about prioritizing tasks in Getting it done)
Look at priority tasks and work on that. Some of us work with multiple teams and everything seems a priority. In that case, discuss it with respective managers on tasks you are currently handling. Arrive at an agreement on delivering items based on priority marking. This will keep all stakeholders informed on work that is being carried out rather than leave them apprehensive about the progress. It will also help you and them follow-up only when required.
Take occasional breaks in between work. BREATHE.
Don’t be guilty if you weren’t able to cross out everything from the to-do. Maybe the list was too ambitious. There is only so much that one can do in a day.
Get in a good night’s sleep. Sleep early.
Take enough rest after work hours and on weekends. Don’t block your day with activity after activity. A well-rested mind and body can produce quality.
The new tag line for Energizer ‘Still Going’ has a positive vibe to it. But we need to know where the ‘going’ leads to.
We all need a recharge every now and then.
Being on an express mode forever can lead to burning out. Slow down your pace. You will notice that your work becomes more effective. You’ll also be amazed at the things you’ve been missing along the way. It will be a rewarding experience.
‘There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens'
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