The author of this response will remain nameless but it was so impressive it is worth sharing as it gets to the essence of the relationship we have with ourselves. Are you (am I?) so courageous?
I have really been working this one over the last few years and it has been a revelation.
I hate doing it.
It stresses me out.
It’s so boring.
As you know, I have a chronic case of messy-desk syndrome. Apparently, it has nothing to do with the desk but more about my way of being.
This week I not only cleaned up the mess but I have been actively in the inquiry, “Why do I sabotage myself from productivity?” I won’t elaborate on all the answers that I came up with, but it was clear to me that the way that we do anything is the way that we do everything. I took responsibility this week and have been extremely productive. Cleaning up the mess is not a single event but an ongoing project and it is all over our lives everywhere.
One big excuse is that I have to do the most important task first so everything else just accumulates in some state of incompleteness. Yes, I have to prioritize, but in the end it’s just another excuse. I see that I am easily seduced by diversion. I have two old-fashioned sand hour-glasses; a three-minute and a one-minute timer. I could use my I-Phone timer but I can physically see the sands of time flowing with my old-fashioned hourglasses. When I indulge in something like Facebook I give myself three minutes. Some things only get one minute. I make sure to give myself periodic time to collect my thoughts, center myself, and catch my breath. I meditate.
I have been completing jobs before I move on to the next one. It is like a breath of fresh air. The present moment is not cluttered with the burden of unfinished stuff. In many ways it gave me significance. I realized that I am a “hoarder” of a type. I was accumulating incomplete work in my head/desk and it was weighing me down so nothing was complete. I am now getting things done. It’s great. I have to keep working the plan. It is like littering; it happens one piece at a time until the whole world is a mess.
I think back when I was in college and my roommates got me a gift of a custom-made t-shirt with the declaration on the back “I’ve Got Work to Do!” Maybe it should have been a tattoo! Anyway, I have been creating a whole new relationship/habit of noticing how joyful it is to get something complete; no stress, no boredom, I love the feeling. I got my tax information (personal and business) organized at the beginning of the year and my returns were completed by my accountant first thing! The pain of not doing something can be so much more intense than the pain of doing something. And in the end it isn’t really pain at all, it’s just drama.
How do you keep the mundane fresh? I make it fun. Stress is inevitable but suffering is optional.
What do you want to be known for at work? That I listen to people and that I get them. I have been working on this one for years. This speaks to the stress/boredom issue above. In the past, I often had a conversation in my head that went something like, “just say whatever you have to say so I can get back to doing something better &/or tell you my opinion.”
Now, I notice that I get something important in every conversation. People have something to say. (I already know what I think.) How generous of them to share themselves.
What is your secret for staying excellent at your job? I am in constant inquiry. I am awake. I am aware. I ask questions. I am grateful. Every day is another day in paradise.
Thanks for the thought provoking Monday Morning Drills.
Best, To Remain Nameless
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