Take the pressure off yourself

“You don’t look yourself,” was the greeting from a friend on meeting me for our final committee meeting of the year. “I am tired,” I replied. “The last couple of weeks I have just been chasing my tail and barely meeting deadlines.” As I said it, it struck me that this was most unusual for me. What had gone wrong?

Into my head came a picture of Stephen Covey’s four quadrants.

Ideally we should spend most of our time doing activities that fall into Quadrant 2 – important but not yet urgent.

I had instead slipped into being in Quadrant 1 – important and urgent.

I haven’t done that for many years. I make a point of planning and prioritising, of saying No when necessary and of remaining in the moment rather than worrying about what may be coming. However somehow that went pear shaped at the beginning of December. By the time I realised what I had done I was feeling drained and dissatisfied.

I am now back in Quadrant 2 and feeling so much better.

If two weeks of that made me so tired, what do months and months of it do to us? And what’s more it is an unproductive space, so all that stress and strain is achieving even less.
Perhaps this is a good time for each of us to evaluate where we are working from and if that isn’t a productive, enjoyable space to make a plan to change it now?
(Originally written in December 2011)


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