Prioritization 1: Overcoming Resentment

Prioritization 1: Overcoming Resentment

In the last entry on how no goal tracking 2020 was proceeding, I noted that I was feeling exhausted and resentful. This is despite the overall success of singular focus (see 2020 process page) with respects to my project work. Everything seems to be relatively under control, and I feel good about my progress.

What I failed to account for were distractions and setbacks that were OUTSIDE of my control. Meeting the needs of these activities depleted my already limited stockpiles of disciplined energy, and over time my reserve had been overdrawn. I got angry about it, but had no where to put it. No one to blame. This anger festered until I crashed hard, and had to put myself into HERMIT MODE to catch up on work and do a bit of thinking.

So for the past week I’ve been trying different ways of seeing the situation:

  • I would remember to prioritize and triage these interruptions/obligations as much as possible instead of managing all of them. This is especially important when there are factors outside my control.
  • More importantly, I would try moderating the intensity of my attention for each interruption/obligation. Social interactions do not require 100% intense attention, so maybe they would be less tiring. I have a tendency to go ALL OUT when doing anything, and this perhaps was burning me out and setting myself up for disappointment.

SO DID IT WORK? It’s a little too early to tell, but here are some initial observations:

  1. I had several impromptu meetings, and some of them called for my full attention, but overall I felt OK about them because the quality of interaction was fairly high.
  2. I cared less about the quality of work I didn’t have control over, and applied the savings in energy to my own work. That felt good.
  3. I didn’t load-up my schedule with obligations, and I started to set my expectations a little more firmly in my mind and communicated them.
  4. I added a new golf-based corollary: “everything I do has at least a ‘par 3’ of barriers and delays, so just putt through them as quickly as possible.” This helped me build a buffer against annoyance against any obstacle that pops up. I’m now expecting at least three of them and a good score is still possible.

I’ll check in again next weekend.



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.

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A message from Dave:

I believe we all benefit when we respectfully share our perspectives on common experiences. My house rules are "please be respectful of divergent views" and "enjoy the flow of ideas!"

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