REFLECTION & ACTION: I have an irksome habit (and I have it in spades)-stuffing too much in! One more email. One more stop on the way. One more point in the presentation.
The motivation is good: squeeze maximum value out of each moment. However, the result is bad: time pressure and frustration, for me and for others.
Being more judicious about biting off more than we can comfortably chew is good for our health. Becoming more thoughtful and reasonable in all areas of life also brings positive changes to our mental health and our relationships.
A speaker colleague edits his presentations by keeping his audience and this question in mind: “What could they live without?” This question can be applied far and wide. Whether it’s our work, errands, or communications, we can ask ourselves, “What could we (or they) live without?”
With the enormous proliferation of email, think twice before sending a message into circulation. Will it add value? Will anyone read it? Will the other person’s world be better with this communication? Sometimes less is more.
How relaxed would we feel if we squeezed fewer tasks into every moment? Or if we became more creative about handling the overload?
A college dean returned from an extended vacation and found 3,000 email messages in her inbox. She made an initial effort to sift and sort, then sent them all to trash. She took her staff members out for coffee to catch up in person. In the end, about 20 messages were significant and their senders came looking for a response. That is creative “simplicizing” at its best!
QUOTE OF THE WEEK:
“More, more, more, more. My hell, what are we all, morticians?” – Richard Eyre
“As my husband and I paused in the hot tub one evening under sparkling stars, our conversation ran to the practice of stream of consciousness writing recommended in Julia Cameron’s The Artist’s Way . My husband has implemented the practice and mentioned that sometimes he writes a list of things to do. When he reviewed the list later, he realized most of the things didn’t really need to be done. We have a suggestion for an alternate use of lists. Make a list. Reflect on whether the completed items will make a difference. Act only on those for which the answer is yes.” – Geri B.
“I had a bad habit of taking calls as I was leaving the office at the end of the day. Often, the call required immediate follow up on an issue and delayed my departure. Now I don’t take calls as I make my way out of the office. I have more control over my departure time.” – Sandra C.