REFLECTION: More than one study has confirmed that backlogs are an everyday fact of life in today’s overcommitted workplaces – not to mention on the home and community fronts. Despite the fact that we have an inordinate number of irons in the fire at any one time, that doesn’t seem to prevent us from adding more.
Personally, I’ve got a tall stack of books waiting for my attention. That hasn’t stopped me from firing off orders to Amazon or Chapters for yet another interesting volume or two. I’ve got a number of articles partly written, and program ideas partially developed. That doesn’t stop me from grabbing another scrap of paper and scratching out a few thoughts about yet another fresh idea. Over the years, I’ve registered a number of web domain names that seemed like an inspired idea at the time, and then let them languish for lack of attention.
Anything similar happen to you?
ACTION: When we talk about streamlining our life and work activities, a fair amount of attention and lip service is paid to what we could stop doing.
Maybe it’s time to ask a different question. What might we stop starting? Or to phrase this a tad more dramatically: Is this a fire that needs to be lit?
One strategy for lightening the load could be as simple as sitting on possible projects, purchases and directions for a few days to see whether the possibility really has legs or whether it is destined to dangle as yet another of life’s loose ends.
If we can identify those ideas that blaze one day and fade the next, we could shorten our lists and lighten our loads by not granting them space in the first place.
QUOTES OF THE WEEK: “I resolved to stop accumulating and begin the infinitely more serious and difficult task of wise distribution.” – Andrew Carnegie (I’m pretty sure Carnegie was referring to his money, but this could apply equally as well to accumulating commitments and allotting attention.)
“Though no one can go back and make a brand new start, anyone can start from now and make a brand new ending.” – Author Unknown
“I had to stop driving my car for a while… the tires got dizzy.” – Stephen Wright
READERS WRITE: In response to last week’s message, Coping With Change, Pause reader LC writes: This message triggered a flood of memories. When my parents left the farm in 1976, they moved into the house left to them by my grandfather who had died a few months earlier. That house had been purchased in the 1920s by my great-grandparents. So for Mom and Dad, it was a new life surrounded by old memories.
Years later after their passing we retain a few items that remind us of dear people and special family times. As I walk past Grandpa’s chair, I remember that kind and gracious man who has always been the best example I’ve ever known of a gentleman. We have particular memories as we use Grandma’s china cupboard. Our best memories, though, are not so much about the things we had. They’re all about the things we did.
Enjoy the memories. Each one is precious.