June 12, 2003
The Stress of Not Getting Things Done
by Trudy Boyle
The Stress Triangle
My number one stress creator is not completing a task I have set for myself or following through promptly. The stress is compounded when I take on more than I can deliver in the allotted time. And my final penchant, which makes up what I call my "stress triangle" is to ignore the whole lot until the last sixty seconds!
How do I let this controllable stress occur? The honest answer is that I sometimes let my feelings boss me around. One of the puzzling lessons I have learned is that, more often than not, I do not feel like doing most of the things that need doing. I'm not just speaking about cleaning the toilet bowl or doing my tax return. I'm referring to those things that I genuinely desire to accomplish like writing, preparing courses, learning calligraphy. I haven't yet felt in the mood to get out of my cozy bed early in the morning on a dark rainy day, and get started on my goals. The letter writing feeling does not strike me until I'm actually writing.
Pondering why I don't feel like doing what I say I want to do, yet discovering one more time, how great it often feels after I've done it, is just another reliable way to distract myself from the effort of doing the next thing. There is no substitute for "accepting my feelings" (of laziness or boredom, or anxiety, or whatever happens to appear), "knowing my purpose" and then "DOING IT." My stress is relieved almost from the moment I start, and I go to bed that night often satisfied at what got accomplished.
Trudy Boyle is an alumni of the ToDo Institute and currently works with her partner, Gottfried, conducting workshops and training programs for non-profits and businesses in Western Canada.Posted on June 12, 2003 2:52 PM