Many years ago, in my first job after university, I was eager to do a good job. As a perfectionist and idealist, I had a clear vision of what had to be done and ambitiously pursued my goal. Of course it was impossible to do everything all at once. By biting off more than I could chew I caused stress not only to myself but to others whose workload increased from the results of my labour. One day, the company President dropped by my office cubicle on his way home, and instead of praising my diligence, he said: “You need to learn to pace yourself.”
What? My inner response was a defensive grumble, but over the years his comment stayed with me. He was right of course. I did need to pace myself, to moderate my steps rather than surging forward. Yesterday evening his advice echoed in my head again, as I felt myself getting jumbled, thinking of all the things I wanted to do, or felt I should do that evening: cooking freshly harvested produce; yard and garden work before the sun went down; dishes; reading blog posts, Twitter and emails; writing a post, and …. I caught myself.
How do I pace myself? I let go of the idea that I’ll be able to do everything and remember my priorities. Reading and writing makes everything else worthwhile, so that won’t be chopped. Being physically active outside is essential for my physical and mental well-being, so I have to keep that up every day. Along with those activities I’ll make time for one or two essential household tasks.
Pacing is an art rather than a science. I know I am pacing myself when I can relax into what I am doing without feeling rushed or anxious.
To close, here is another quote from Laura Stack, productivity consultant, speaker, and author known as “The Productivity Pro®”.
Both Laura Stack quotes may be found in her article: True Productivity at Work Requires Pacing Yourself.
This post is being posted as a contribution to Writer’s Quote Wednesday September 16 hosted by Silver Threading. Please follow the above link to read the launching post–this week, about the upcoming blood moon and total lunar eclipse! As well, you’ll find links to other Writer’s Quote Wednesday posts in the Comments section.