XCEL Quest Blog-Tame the Chaos!Make Your Journey as Rewarding as Your Success
Are there days you intend to write and everything gets in the way? Do you find something keeps intruding on the time you hoped to work on your dissertation? Do you have days when you doubt you can even do it?
What is this magnetic draw that email has? When you’re overwhelmed with so much stuff to do and much of it evokes resistance, email offers clarity, surprise, and a potential reward.
Have you noticed that negative comments in your peer reviews or student course evaluations stick with you longer than positive ones? Rick Hansen memorably observes, “the brain is like Velcro for negative experiences but Teflon for positive ones.”
Have you experienced waking up in the middle of the night to a mind replaying the details of yesterday’s disappointment or spinning a narrative about what will go terribly wrong today?
The start of a new semester reconnects you with possibilities. Expectations are high. During this brief time in the semester when optimism is higher than usual, take time to reflect on what accomplishment you’d like to be celebrating when the semester ends.
Let go of any notion that goals, lists, and intentions make you robotic, stifle your creativity, or structure away your flexibility. They are quite the opposite! Goals, lists, and intentions become gifts when . . .
Here’s a technique for shifting your mind from chaos to calm. Designed for those pressure filled days when the list is impossibly long, the mind is racing, confusion abounds, and progress seems impossible.
Despite the accusations and negative connotation, procrastination is NOT a character flaw! Rather procrastination is a strategic response to a negative thought the brain generates either consciously or unconsciously.
Have you ever held tight to some belief that you needed to let go? Maybe it was a belief about your abilities, appropriate dress for particular occasions, decisions committed parents make about school attendance, or . . .
Late? Confused? Where am I suppose to be and when? The solution is so simple you’ll likely resist it. After all things that are easy to do are also easy NOT to do. Keep an open mind and give this small habit a try.
o you ever find yourself struggling to do what you want to do? Do you regularly fail to honor commitments to yourself? Do you frequently second guess yourself or decide when the designated writing, grading, editing, recording, you-name-it time...
But what awaits you on the other side of impeccable productivity? What happens when you miraculously have delegated significant volumes of work and automated every repetitive task? How do you find a way to do MORE, especially achieve the goal that’s so important to you?
Imagine a world where students, direct reports, chairs, deans, colleagues, friends, spouses, children, parents, etc. do NOT frustrate, anger, or create stress for you. Imagine the freedom that resides on the other side of embracing this truth.
What happens when you sit down to write, design, draw, construct (fill free to insert any creative work), or strategically think through a challenging problem? Do you discover the thrill of cleaning? Does a resistance field surround your chair?
What can you do when your highly prized work-schedule flexibility generates stress and misery? Is more willpower the answer? Do you need to give up and find a job with regular hours and a boss to keep you focused? Of course NOT!
New opportunities fuel personal and professional growth, which elevates you to a new platform from which greater opportunities emerge. Making commitments to those who have recognized your skills and invited you to partner with them is a beautiful thing! That kind of commitment builds relationships and valuable capital in your network. After all, we live in community and depend on each other.
David Allen of Getting Things Done fame says it best, “Your mind is for having ideas, not holding them.” Why? A characteristic of the human brain is limited working memory space. Once you transform the thoughts, which are circulating in your mind, into visible notes, either in digital or paper form, you create two categories of significant benefits.
Imagine that you remember great ideas, appointments, to-dos, meetings, commitments, invitations, birthdays, special occasions, and deadlines with the same consistent reliability that you refuel your car before it’s empty. What area of your life would you begin to apply that same high level of success?
Ready to reconsider the importance of time management in favor of energy management? With some awareness, intention, and new habits you could both conserve and generate the energy you need to tame the chaos and propel momentum on all your projects.
If you are experiencing negative fallout from chaos, try this one-hour, three-step Chaos Triage Method to restore calm, focus, and confidence so you can move forward and create momentum.
Chaos inevitably surfaces in the lives of creative, intelligent professionals who are working to make a difference in the world. Yet if this chaos generates frustration, fatigue, undesirable stress, difficulty sleeping, and ironically leads to getting less done, then consider some of these strategies to tame the chaos.