What Should You Do, Right Now?
Pick something, anything, and stop chasing your tail — right now
It starts like this: a sunny Monday morning, the birds chirping, the air crisp, a fun weekend over my shoulder, a day filled with promise.
Then I go and ruin it.
Why? Because I spend too many hours wondering:
What to do? What should I do right now? Next? Writing an essay or submitting one? Returning emails or watching a training video? Swim or run? This or that?
I am a system in motion, rife with indecision, running into each corner of the room every five minutes to see if there’s something there. I’m filled with an idea of “getting it right” — as if landing on the one right/best activity is going to be the magic ticket. As if my day is a lottery. A lottery to . . . well, I’m not sure! Which makes this Getting It Right (GIR) quest even sillier.
Prepare for some mixed metaphors.
At the end of a GIR day, I feel like a dog who’s chased her tail for hours— churning and burning, a flurry of activity and thought. I’ve accomplished nothing except for kicking up a dust storm of frustration.
The other image is the lazy Susan — one of those spinning turntables you place in the middle of a group dinner as a way to pass around food without reaching or stretching over anyone.
My attention flicks from one item to the next: writing a blog, but WAIT — there’s the email I haven’t responded to! — I go to my inbox, and as I respond to that email . . . A PODCAST I WANTED TO SENT TO A CLIENT! — and then back to the writing, and then STOP, sit up straight to consider another, better idea for writing . . . and on and on and on and ON.
While I know I’m not the only person doing the lazy-Susan focus spin, it makes me blush to watch myself in such a stupid quandary. Like every day’s a test and I’m in a panic to get it right. So I do nothing but spin.
I first identified this behavior around 14 years ago, when I was working for myself as a writer and a coach, following a regular technical writing jobby-job, where I had my deadlines set for me. Now I had the privilege of creating my days and setting my schedule, priorities, and goals. And…