This is where I live. In this space between what I could achieve in a given day, or week, or month… and what in my imagination I’m capable of.
Of course in my imagination I never kick back and watch a movie with my friend and a bottle of wine (honestly, this rarely happens in reality either… probably why I felt so horrible this morning). I never get burnt out from training hard and sleep for 10 hours straight. I never say “You know, I’m not having a great week but one thing I could control is my hair” and bunk off the things I should be doing to get a haircut. I never get so overwhelmed by “the list” that I have to take time to breathe deeply and try and decide what my priority one is. I never stare at the blank page where I’m supposed to be outlining the plan for my upcoming talk and feel completely and utterly uninspired. In my imagination, I don’t get things to nearly finished, get interrupted and struggle to come back to them.
Other people don’t feature much in my imagination. Whilst I like working with others and I’m pretty social, there’s such a huge overhead and level of unpredictability when other people are involved. I struggle with this because it’s impossible to predict and hard to plan for. Because everyone manages their schedule and their list differently, it’s difficult to know when you should remind someone and when that would imply that they’re disorganized.
I’m the same, as usual when I’m a little stressed out the first thing to go is my email. So if you’ve sent me something that is urgent, or very quick to reply to, you’ll probably have a response. If not – I’m going to level with you here – it could be a while. And so there will be a disconnect if someone has sent me something they perceive to be urgent, but didn’t seem that way to me.
It’s not even February, but my inbox is out of control. I’m so behind on “the list” I can’t get a handle on what needs to be done anymore.
What do I need? A couple of days by myself to pull myself and my organizational system together.
I’m not going to get this.
So what’s the alternative?
To the endless demands that show up in my inbox, I’m sorry but I’m at capacity right now. I expect to get back to you mid-February.
To other things, too. What more can I eliminate? How can I better manage my interactions with others so that they are not time-sensitive? What’s the time commitment above which I should delegate (below which the delegation is more effort than I save)?
Other people are better at this, and I keep finding myself in situations where they say no and it falls on me or a commitment is broken (as was the case this morning). I need to balance my need to be firmer, with the fact that I hate to let people down.