Why do we avoid what needs to be done the most?
When I say we of course I mean me. And I say this after two consecutive sleepless nights due to stress, which was completely caused by my own actions and lousy recordkeeping. On a high note: at least there were records! It’s my actual keeping of them that needs improvement.
One of my colleagues shared something brilliant on a training call recently.
“The thing we are willing and eager to do is almost never what we need to do.”
How oh-so-very-true is this? How easy is it to expend energy on the tasks we enjoy doing (or that just waste time) and then when it’s time to grind the axe, we’re exhausted? This goes for both your work life and your personal life.
I don’t have a solution for this conundrum other than to avoid avoiding. Every day we make choices. We always have choices! If your priorities are clearly defined, it should be easy to make those choices and sort out our tough decisions. This isn’t to say that you shouldn’t enjoy your life. That’s why we’re here! But we complicate our lives by overcommitting, feeling guilty because we’ve neglected something, changing plans, rinse and repeat.
When is the last time you wrote down your priorities? I did this little exercise last week, and honestly, I don’t think I had ever done this before. This is different from goal-setting, which is a defined series of actionable steps. Really dig down deep and define your priorities. Family? Friends? Health? Personal Development? Once you define these, your choices should naturally fall into line and clear the chaos: if something doesn’t fit into one of your priorities, let it go. Conserve your energy for your priorities.
How do you follow through in your life and work? Help us time management freaks out.