Thursday, 4 September 2014
Bit of a bottleneck
“People ask me if I’m busy, I tell them, ‘I’m so busy I had two heart attacks’. They congratulate me on this achievement.”
Over the last ten years or so I have been fantastically lucky to have one great opportunity after another. Sometimes, they’ve come all at once and I’m ashamed to admit, I’ve made a real mess of dealing with that. I’ve been awful at choosing between good things, like a toddler in a toy shop. My general approach has just been to try and have it all. Understandable I hope, but still stupid.
I’m even more ashamed to admit that going at full pelt with no off button for so long has, at times, made me unhappy, although I mostly didn’t realise it. This is because life is not black and white. I love virtually all of the activities I do in my life. In fact I can’t get enough of them. So on one hand I’ve had numerous influences helping me to enjoy and make the most of life. However, two things have pulled in the other direction - injury, and over-working myself.
From day to day, doses of things such as training sessions are such a pleasure and a boost, and are enough to counter the negative effects of another night working until 2am. In the short term at least. But sooner or later, the cost of this is evident. And I’ve realised that sometimes this way of working has starved the golden goose. I ought to know better.
I could go into more detail on the problems I’ve created for myself, but they are not unusual to me, so there isn’t any need. The question is what am I going to do about it?
Just because you wake up and see the problem doesn’t make it go away. I don’t write to do lists on paper any more but they are still there in my head and I still want to do them. My first plan is to stop beating myself up about failure to achieve unachievable goals, or goals only achievable at huge costs elsewhere. I have proven to myself that I have the dubious ability to work myself to death for years on end. Sure this approach gets projects sent tomorrow. But I have also proved, as so many others do in the western world, that it soon kills you.
I’m determined to make a better job of focusing on the priorities, saying no, or later to the rest, and deciding not to beat myself up for not managing everything.