I almost always feel like I am chasing the bus. It’s a proverbial bus. It means that I rarely feel like I am caught up on all the stuff I gotta do. Even though it’s proverbial, at times I feel as though I am covered in soot from the exhaust and weighed down by the effort.
However I have been lessening my feeling of racing against the bus (and loosing) and here’s how. A few years ago I realized that I am the one creating my to-do list most of the time. This means that the gigantic size of the bus (my to-do list) and it’s power to pull away from me (my feelings of inadequacy) were of my own devising. So I dramatically reduced the length of my list and have been more relaxed. I also believe that I am more productive because I put the energy I was wasting on chasing into getting things done, or really resting.
Then a few weeks ago at Toastmasters one of my colleagues, Eric, talked about how he’s almost always 3 days behind. Once in a while he will feel 6 days behind so he will work really hard to catch up. But when he comes up for a breather he realizes that he’s still 3 days behind! I LOVED hearing Eric talk about this. I no longer felt alone. More important, I realized I am still doing it to myself!
I decided then and there that being 3 days behind is a good thing. After all, if I get it all done I will be really bored, or dead.
Here are four tips enjoying being 3 days behind:
- Think about the last time you went on vacation, or were ill, and the things that did not get done. What was the result? Was it as bad as you feared? Were there possibly some good things that came from the time away?
- Take 10 minutes to review your to-do list. Mark the things you don’t enjoy, but feel like you have to work on. Do you really?
- Repeat after me, “Yippee, I am 3 days behind. I love my life.” Yes, it’s whacky, and perhaps not true, but it does help to put “the list” into perspective.
- Remember that “fake it till you make it” is a useful strategy for success.
I feel even cleaner and lighter about my list after writing this. Hey, there’s a bonus tip–spend some time writing about your list and your relationship with it. Studies show that as little as two minutes writing about something can dramatically reduce our anxiety about it.
Do you chase buses? Do you think you might chase a few less after reading this? How?
Please let us all know by sharing a comment below!
Have a successful week.