The bane

Busy is the bane.

And sometimes, you are busy. So much so that being busy becomes a description of your permanent self, more than a temporary state.

To get out of it, make a list of the things that are making you busy. And ask yourself two questions.

  1. Are those things my responsibility? Because if they are not, you are doing somebody else’s job.
  2. Could those things be somebody else’s responsibility? Perhaps a colleague who is looking for an advancement, or a freelancer who is looking for more work.

Once you unlock that conversation with yourself, you are ready to start setting boundaries and delegating.

Dreams

If your dream is something you are 100% sure you will be achieving, something you are comfortable with, something you have already done before, that’s not a dream.

If your project is something that no one else has ever achieved, something that is not well defined, something that will take years to complete, that’s not a project.

Using the right definitions and assumptions for the right thing will bring you close to success.

When it’s not possible

Sometimes you get asked something that it is not possible to deliver or something that you do not know how to deliver. And then our natural inclination is to overdo, split hairs, change plans, stress us and others, look for additional information. Everything in the attempt to find the answer.

A good reminder is that “I don’t know” is always a viable starter in these cases. It builds credibility, it opens us to learning, it welcomes new possibilities, and it accepts the idea of failure.

Perhaps some people will not accept it as an answer.

Good luck trying to make them happy in one of the other ways.

Back to normal

If you live in the Western part of the World – or in most parts of Europe, at least – tomorrow is the day when life goes back to normal. After the presents and the food, after the hopes and the holidays, after forced conversations and much needed connections, most will go back to their office and move on with their regular life.

Be prepared, because sometimes it’s tough. Holidays – and particular Christmas holidays – tend to be dreamy, they bear a feeling of commitment and new, they open up possibilities that go beyond the 9-to-5.

So, be aware of this gap, and be ready to welcome back your routine and take with you whatever it is that has made the past holiday special. There is certainly a place for it between meetings, projects, and commuting.

Moments

When we feel pain, when we face a new crisis, when we are down and hopeless, everything becomes short term.

How will I wake up tomorrow? What will I do with this pain? How will I ever raise my head again? What is next for me?

Most of our thoughts deal with what is happening here and now. Either trying to push it away – how can I feel better? – or expanding it beyond its own boundaries – it will always be like this.

A different approach might be putting the moment in perspective. Looking at it and keeping it finite.

What am I feeling now? How likely is it that I will still feel the same next week, next month, next year? How many things will happen that will change how I feel? Was I feeling the same last week, last month, last year? Have I ever felt this way before? What did happen then?

Moments come and go, and it’s up to us for how long we want to hold onto them.