PAUSE – 12.26 – Uncommon Clarity

Recognize Mr Magoo? He's the myopic old cartoon codger who could never see clearly enough to get anywhere without running into, off of, or over something or someone. I loved that guy!

Reflection: It was the fallout from the ‘too-much-ness’ of life that triggered the launch of my business those oh so many years ago. And, although time has marched on, the challenge lingers.

A central concern of many of my readers and clients is that there is still too much to do and not enough time and energy to accomplish it all. Expectations have mushroomed, the fallout is more widespread than ever, and the dust of confusion still hangs overhead.

Perhaps that’s why I felt an immediate kinship when I was introduced last week to the work of Ann Latham and her organization, Uncommon Clarity.

When it comes to dealing with overload, Latham boils it down to the essentials. In her view there are five possible responses:  accomplish more, delegate, cut corners, postpone, or abandon.

Well, actually, she acknowledges a sixth possibility as well: not choosing at all. However, that option pretty much guarantees more of the same – or worse – by way of outcomes.


Action: As you tackle your load this week, pause to see if this five-part triage brings any clarity to the dust ups in your daily life.

  • Is there a way to accomplish more by focusing more tightly on the task at hand, or adopting some other take on that old saw, work smarter, not harder?
  • Who might be better positioned, by virtue of available time or ready skill, to take one task off your hands?
  • Is there a way to streamline an action or to reduce a standard without causing significant damage to the outcome or your reputation?
  • Can one or more tasks be delayed or postponed to another time – fixed or indefinite – to offer more ease in the moment without creating a crisis later on?
  • Given current circumstances and resources, is it time to simply abandon a project or an idea instead of burdening yourself with the weight of another ‘would be nice, but isn’t going to happen’ expectation?


Quote Of The Week: We will get better results and live better lives if we are careful, thorough, accurate and consistent where it counts, and speedy, efficient, and satisfactory everywhere else. – Ann Latham


Resource Of The Week: For more ideas on addressing life’s overload, check out Latham’s article, The Worst Mistake You Can Make When Overloaded.


Readers Write: In response to last week’s message, Take A Bow, Pause reader JR writes: I’m loving how you can also paint with words. This reminded me of the strange antics of geese this past week while volunteering at my daughter’s school field trip – which reminded me that I was volunteering! Bow taken! Merci!

P.S. –  And JR’s closing, ‘merci’, reminds me that I had an inquiry this week from a reader who works with our federal government. She wanted to know if the Take A Bow booklet was also available in French. If you are part of a bilingual organization that would also be interested in a French version, please contact me. If there’s enough interest, I’m open to the idea.



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