Do you have more to do than you can get done? If so, there's a certain amount of good news there - it means you have something to do! In the past, that was called a job - a job, by definition, is something that needs doing and is almost never finished.

Cleaning the floor is obvious - as soon as you finish cleaning it, dust and dirt begin to accumulate again. Thus, the need for floor cleaning is ongoing and winds up producing jobs.

Got Stress?

In all likelihood, you have a bit more stress than you find desirable. Some stress is good for us, a kind of architectural tension that keeps us upright. Your muscles and bones and ligaments all work in a kind of dynamic tension that keeps things held together.

But that doesn't mean you need to be tense or stressed out about it. In fact, if you can keep yourself exercised, stretched out, and otherwise in a combination of relaxed and energized, you will find you are able to do things in life pretty much stress free and in balance.

The same principle applies in getting things done in your personal and work life. The more dynamic, flexible and fit you are, the more you will be able to get done. Curiously, the more you get done, the less stress you are likely to feel about it all!

The dynamic flexibility we are talking about here is more mental than it is physical. I have worked with all kinds of powerful, intelligent and creative individuals who wind up paralyzed by all the work they have to do. Or more to the point, all the work they aren't getting done.

Pay Attention or Pay With Tension

The game here is one of awareness and focus coupled with doing and not doing.


Years ago, David Allen of Getting Things Done fame and I learned an amazing secret that isn't so secret. The only way to relax at night, on the weekend, or on vacation is to know what it is that you are not doing!

If you think about this one for a minute, you'll undoubtedly get it. Imagine you had a list of all the things that need doing in your life. Now imagine that you read down the list and determine that there isn't anything on the list that demands immediate attention.

If that were the case, you could take the evening, or even the weekend off and just relax.

Another way of looking this: imagine reading down the list and determining that whereas there are some important things there that need doing, none of them is more important than taking your family on a well deserved vacation.

If that were the case, you could probably take the vacation and not worry about what you aren't doing back at the office.

That's because you KNOW what it is that YOU ARE NOT DOING.

However, let's imagine that you are just whacked, exhausted, overwhelmed and otherwise burned out. You know there are all kinds of things that need doing, but you just don't have the energy to address them right now. In fact, you can't even remember what they are.

You just need a break. So you try to take a day off. Or a weekend. Or even just an evening with your husband or wife.

I'm sure you know what comes next. No sooner do you settle in to watch that movie, or enjoy a day at the beach, when your mind starts to remind you of all those things you haven't yet done.

It's trying to do you a favor, that mind of yours. "Hey, what about that proposal?" "Hey, the project team has a big milestone coming up - how are they doing?" Or any of a hundred other things.

Sound familiar? Of course it does. Why? Because your mind is a great memory machine. It will remember. You just never know when!

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