Tag Archives: deadlines

The Consequence of Inaction

As we race to outrun imaginary deadlines set by our own unbending need to measure achievement and self-worth against an arbitrary yardstick, I can’t help but think of the mountains of wasted minutes that sit in a heap at our feet.

We’re always late, rushed, cramming far too much into far too small a window, and wondering how morning seems to sneakily turn into afternoon. We complain that “there are never enough hours in a day” and we lament an adjusted project deliverable date like it’s the end of life as we know it.

But how much of the blame sits on our shoulders? If we factor in countless distractions, daydreaming, social media addiction, and procrastination, how much more time would be available for real productivity? Is it simply a part of the human condition to crave a focus reset or soothe an overworked brain with mindless activity? Or has a society that’s built on the backbone of a dwindling collective attention span created manic little monsters who feel like they’re tackling task after task when they’re simply spinning circles in the sand?

As eye contact, basic social skills, and the English language continue to die a speedy death, I’d probably go with the latter. On a macrocosmic level, that’s pretty terrifying. But maybe the demands of a modern workplace are simply setting the foundation for a technological future in which we all function like poorly programmed robots, unable to attend meetings, complete assignments, or even arrive on time without megadoses of psychotropics buzzing in our bloodstreams.

Evolution? Hmmm…

We’re hurtling toward The Singularity, and I’m sure all these tendencies will be wildly useful when we merge man and machine, but there’s still a piece of me that thinks there’s something pretty special about a handcrafted wooden table, and the skill and focus required to start and finish.

Adolescence Interrupted

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Stress Reprieve-r

rocks1I’m probably not alone at the start of a new year in feeling like there is a disturbing lack of daily equilibrium, and my colossal list of hopes and aspirations sometimes gets buried beneath the chaos.

We love to hit the ground running, chasing our resolutions with the speed of Hermes, determined to check each box before our energy fades or resolve wanes. We sprint after the better versions of ourselves, committed to fresh perspectives, remodeled work ethics, and the blind attainment of concocted goals.

But, there is a beauty in the balance.

Unless we are faced with tangible deadlines, our stress is our own creation. We berate ourselves for not accomplishing imaginary undertakings and then we let that disappointment fester until obstacles grow to slow our progress. We intentionally watered those seeds to ensure that our momentum would be stalled. Why?

Perhaps there is something innately human about the act of shooting ourselves squarely in the feet. I don’t often see other species carry on like this, so I have to assume the Homo sapien brain is hardwired to erect mountains from molehills and turn cracks into chasms. We need to feel like Rocky clobbering Creed or the monotony of our daily pedestrian activities doesn’t measure up to the daydream fantasy.

I am currently in the middle of some significantly stressful challenges, elevated by my own compulsive need for control in an uncontrollable arena. So I am fighting the battles worth winning and relinquishing the rest. It feels counterintuitive, but I trust there is a bigger picture still waiting to be painted.

I will continue breathing and finding that balance. When that’s less than successful, hurling myself around a tennis court for hours seems to be an adequate alternative.