I am a systems thinker. As soon as I enter a new. . .whatever. . .I start seeing the systems in place (or that need to be in place). My head starts designing the inputs and outflows, the structures of what is happening or should be happening, the way it works.
Today (and tomorrow), I am faced with “Found Days.” That is, I was supposed to be heading off to a race with my wife and “out of the office” for a couple of days. While I would have had my trusty laptop with me and could get some things done, there would have been limits.
So, now I sit at my desk with the potential of this found day before me. My mind is racing with what I could and should do. Should I work to getting things removed from my checklist (work on the course I’ve been developing, develop some training for the team, work on one of the books I’m writing, etc.) or could I tackle some things that are looming that are not even on the checklist (work on taxes, hang a digital antenna on the house, work on taxes, work on taxes. . .did I say that already?!?! etc.). Alternatively, I could decide that I need some down time and head to the driving range (someday, I will regularly shoot below 100!).
As my mind considers the options before it, I can sense the optimistic promise of the day. I’m just SURE that I can get it ALL in and done.
However, then my rational (more realistic) mind reminds me that I can’t get it all done. . .so I better choose wisely! That stream of thought can turn negative given the workload on my plate if I let it…and turn to paralysis of not getting anything done because of being overwhelmed.
That’s the danger. Paralysis of what to do with this found day when I know I can’t do it all can turn a found day into a lost day.
The trick is to decide. There isn’t a wrong answer here. It’s a day that would have been lost (or not used to the full extent) and I got it back. So, any answer is correct.
When you have found days, how do you handle them? Do they contain promise or paralysis?