Prioritization 2: Prioritizing without Being a Jerk About It?

Prioritization 2: Prioritizing without Being a Jerk About It?

This is the second follow-up to the June “Not Groundhog Day Resolutions” Report, where I admitted I was feeling exhausted and resentful about my lack of progress. A week later I checked-in to see if the countermeasures I’d tried worked; largely I was feeling more in control of my situation, but there were some lingering frustrations.

This week, the resentment and rage flared up again.

The Building Storm

Monday and Tuesday started ok; I expected these days to be unproductive due to meetings, so I also caught up with friends and did some side projects for my website. However, the start to Wednesday didn’t quite catch because of a morning meeting, and this had disrupted my sleep cycle. Thursday was a little better, and I started to get moving by again but an unplanned meeting in the afternoon killed it. I was not able to ramp up again AND I couldn’t sleep, but I had to be awake for the Friday morning meeting. I ended the week in a foul mood.

Possible Mitigations

I think I would feel better if I just could make uninterrupted progress on my current big project. However, my energy reserve is constantly overdrawn by external responsibilities, and that leaves me in this pickle yet again. So I have two takeaways from this week:

  1. Prioritizing covers more than WHAT; WHEN and HOW must also be included. I have been compromising my ideal schedule for the sake of having daily meetings. If these meetings directly informed my current work that would be fine. However, they are distractions from my current project. The work I’m doing now is highly solitary and unpredictable, and meetings kill my momentum dead dead dead. I think I need to allocate a solid three-day block of ABSOLUTELY NO MEETINGS, starting from Tuesday Midnight to Friday 9AM.

  2. It’s good to take Personal Days, not having to do anything, just because it’s nice. I tend to take personal days only when I have burned out badly and need to piece myself back together after the fact. I did something different on Friday, realizing that I was so angry that I should just take a day to calm down. I told myself it was OK, and not to feel guilty about it. It was nice. I needed it. I should do it again.

I have not been very militant about enforcing #1, but I am thinking that for my own sake I should try it. I would worry people would think I’m being anti-social or not friendly, but I don’t want to de-prioritize my own work for the sake of other people’s comfort, especially if it means compromising on my ideals of excellence…

Maybe there’s a way to do it without being an asshole? That shall be the reflection for the coming week!


I was nodding off to sleep, mentally reviewing all the frustrations I have been feeling (not a recipe for falling asleep quickly) and noticed that there was a recurring emotional pattern of feeling like I need to constantly accommodate other people’s needs and agendas. But is this REALLY what I need to do? Keeping it inside just builds rage. What if I just told people what I needed and wanted in a pleasant and reasoned way? It doesn’t need to be dramatic or emotional. Either the needs can be met or they can not; once I have an answer I can route my plans accordingly.

About this Article Series

For 2020 I am NOT doing Groundhog Day Resolutions, and am instead thinking about what life is like without them. You'll find the related posts on this subject at 2020 NOT Groundhog Day Resolutions page. You can also find the link under the INVESTIGATIONS menu item on my website.