Both. I don’t think these things are mutually exclusive. I can be completely gung-ho about a project. In fact, sometimes I am so singularly focused I can drive myself and everyone around me crazy. At other times, I have a harder time focusing and I procrastinate like crazy. A perfect example? Right now. I sit down determined to write my daily post … and then I decide I need to make myself a second cup of coffee. Oh, and music, I need some music. But first I have to reorganize my iPod and add some music that isn’t on there but that I really want to listen to. Right. Now. Oh, look, there’s a Facebook notification. And maybe I’ll have a little look-see at my blog stats.
Hmm … okay, now I’m ready. Wait, where are my glasses?
Okay, NOW I’m ready. Sipping coffee (wait, it’s cold, must. warm. it. up.) and listening to music. Glasses on. Closing Facebook and Hootsuite. (I’m starving. Did I eat breakfast? No. I should have some toast. Mmm, there’s cruncy peanut butter in the cupboard. I love crunchy peanut butter … no, wait. Blog post! Get the blog post done!)
See? This is why it takes me forever to write a blog post. I’m too easily distracted and I leave things until the last minute. In university I was the classic, write-a-paper-the-night-before-it-was-due kind of student. I’ve been sitting on two threatening letters from Public Health about my two of my kids’ vaccinations not being up to date for a couple of months. (They are up to date; I just need to make a phone call to make this all go away.) I guess I tend to work better under pressure. Sink or swim.
I also like checking things off my to-to list. I find it tremendously satisfying. When I am feeling really stressed and overwhelmed, one of the things I do – one of the things I need to do – is make a list. Not a list on my phone. Not a list in my head. Like, a real pen and paper list. Years ago I swore off paper (pshaw, who uses paper anymore?!). I do almost everything electronically, but every once in a while, I need a list I can have in front of me. I very recently started carrying around a notebook and pen. The idea was so foreign to me at first but I realize more and more that sometimes it’s just what I need to focus.
I think that recognizing what each of us needs in order to deal with the pressures we all face is important. I have realized that what I need can change – sometimes from situation to situation. More sleep, exercise, a pen and paper, talking to a friend, writing it down, sometimes all of these things and sometimes something completely different, are how I cope with pressure.
How do you manage the pressures in your life?
Photo by Marie Aschehoug-Clauteaux via Flickr.