It seems to me that life has upped the stakes as of late. It has me on my heels and its attempting, with all weapons at its disposal, to impose its will on me.
“Life” is an experience much better spent on the offensive. Yes, there is a time and place to subvert yourself and let the universe guide your path. In fact, there are countless stories of individuals experiencing quantum leaps in mental, physical, and spiritual development through the abatement of uphill struggling and efforting against the will & way of the world. But for me…in my pickup-driving, cubicle-dwelling, to-do-list-scribbling, email-cursing existence…I need to take the offensive. The universe will have to limit its influence to matters of the existential variety.
As for all other matters, I’ve recently started trying out a new methodology in an attempt to take the reins back. At the beginning of each day, I pointedly write-out the top 3-5 things in my personal and professional life on which to focus my attention and energies for that day. I view everything else as a distraction. By virtue of the fact that a person shows up at my desk does not mean that their request warrants my attention and action in that very moment. And this fact has required some nuanced explanation as it is a departure from my normal “help-everyone-at-all-times” mentality. Most “get it” after a brief explanation. Those that don’t…don’t.
In this manner, I make sure that my energies are harnessed and directed at the activities best-suited to help me achieve my desired goals. I say “no” to a lot more meeting requests. I block-out quiet time on my work calendar to avoid idle chatter. I check emails only a few times a day and I turned off email auto-notification pop-ups. I prioritize personal activities that previously got subordinated to professional ones. Granted, it has been somewhat of a struggle to limit requests originating up-the-chain…but even there I’ve had some successes.
My experiment is still in its infancy, but I can already see some tangible benefits:
- I really do get the most important things done each day rather than striving to return every volley that comes my way
- I feel less stressed and more in control
- I feel more impactful and productive in ways that truly matter to my intended direction of travel
As for my email inbox…well…that’s a different story. It’s a little out of control and growing like rabbits fornicate. Ever dream of just deleting everything and blaming it on an accidental Ctrl-A/Delete combo? If it was truly important, someone would pick up the phone and call, right? Kidding of course…but it can’t hurt to fantasize!
Onward and upward!