I am feeling a little less happy today. To be honest, I felt it creeping during week and finally, tonight I had the down I was anticipating.
I am trying to achieve too much at once. When I lay everything down in a timetable or a weekly schedule it fits. What this exercise does not take into account is the energy expense behind every task I’ve scheduled. Some tasks need too much energy, like meetings and training sessions, where I deal with people and need to flex my emotional intelligence (especially empathy). Some tasks are rejuvenating, like individual work, analyzing and planning, or learning.
Actually if I can only examine the people aspect for now and take a second look at what I just wrote, I think that being around people can be both energizing and draining, depending on the activity that I am doing. If it is collaborative work then it feels great; things like brainstorming, planning, and strategizing – activities where we are on the same side of the subject. If it is confrontational work then it is taxing and exhausting, like negotiating, selling an idea, getting buy-in- an activity where we are on opposite sides of the subject.
So, when most of my day is spent in doing confrontational activities rather than collaborative activities, I end up mentally drained and requiring a longer recovery time. Where I lose control is when I can not afford a recovery time because I need to deal with the next activity demanding my attention. The next activity being collaborative or not, I simply do not have any mental energy left to deal with it.
While I’d like to action plan against this insight, and run my schedule according to my mental state, I do not think that the plan will be in effect for long, because of the unpredictable nature of people.
Perhaps I need to engage in some mental and emotional gymnastics and develop some sort of flexibility or endurance. Also, perhaps, identify some restorative activities, how long the restorative activity takes and how quickly it yields recovery. Then maybe I can engage in them when needed; kind of like pain killers or muscle relaxants – but for the mind.
As for having too much to achieve in little time, I’ve postponed some of my objectives in order to give myself some room to breath, until I’ve developed the stamina to pursue so many.