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Things To Think About, Monday, April 8th, 2019

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Happy Monday, or whatever Monday you choose.
Sometimes we need a vacation after our vacation. By setting boundaries, I was able to not stress myself out after returning from vacation. I made a promise to myself to not open my laptop once I got home. Guess what? I finished all my work and enjoyed quality time with my family. I learned that being diligent paid off, but also that I had to pace myself. Focusing on the task at hand and getting it right the first time helped me to keep a steady and productive pace. Despite the workload, I paused and reflected on what I had accomplished and what I had left to complete. Taking a break is easier said than done. How do you schedule yourself? Some of you have a hefty workload as a consequence of the gig economy or to make ends meet. A strong work ethic is essential, but are you also getting a return on your investment?
But, and there is always a but - every day a new conflict shows up throwing me off. Conflict is a way of life. How do you manage the conflict in your life? Part of the battle is controlling your thoughts about the conflict. My boss is a big fan of taking a deep breath and attacking things with a clear mind. It is good advice. I find when I do not rush in angry and half-cocked, the outcomes are more favorable. I am not saying that everyone is going to sing Kumbayah, but we can embrace conflict and learn from other points of view. Differences give us the opportunity to see other perspectives and learn the art of compromise. What is your role in the conflict? Is there a common thread?
When I have a heavy workload, I'm often tempted to rush through it. Do you rush when you are stressed? I am helping a family member get ready to move. This weekend we started out in the planning phase and quickly jumped to action. We got some things done, but our energy was scattered all over the place. There were many things on our to-do list, and we were trying to do them all. When we took a step back and looked at the big picture, we were able to focus and work methodically on one section. We won the larger battle of getting started. I also find that when I am close to a goal, I sabotage myself. Being more mindful of this helps me to develop other strategies. Being aware is why checking in during the process is very important. When you look at what you have accomplished it helps to keep you focused and make it to the finish line. Do you know where you are going or are you rushing on the road to nowhere?
What's next? Falling into a rut is easy. When you achieve competence, you can mistake that for mastery. We have a limited about of energy each day, and we must continue to learn how to focus our efforts to meet our goals. I am learning how to direct that energy into finishing a goal before jumping into the next one — learning how to concentrate circles back to setting boundaries. Limiting your choices can save time and energy in making decisions and help to drive discipline. It is easier to stay on task when you are not thinking about all the other things you have to get done. Are you present when you are doing things? Systematically working may not be sexy, but it prevents having to rework things. I also finish more things. When you try and do many things at once, versus one thing at a time, how much do you actually get done? Try doing a time study on yourself. You would be surprised at how much time you can reclaim when you learn where your energy goes. This week, I am going on an adventure. Where are you going?