. . . you experience a wave of resentment when a colleague sends you an interesting article. “Why do they have time to read interesting stuff when I don’t?!?!?” (Now this is not the person who seems never do anything BUT read professional literature and fill your inbox with commentary. For some reason we all seem have one of those.) If you’ve had this reaction – and I think most Type A’s (myself included) have at one time or another – it means its time to get out of the gerbil ball and take a step back. There’s a high probability that no one is going to die if you don’t do that thing in the next five minutes (brain surgeons and bomb squad members excepted).
Take 15 minutes to some coffee, take a walk, do a downward facing dog . . . what ever you need to do to regain some perspective. And before you get back into you gerbil ball, take another few minutes to establish priorities – this hour, this day, this week, later. Those four categories can help a lot.
And when you’re building that plan, make sure to include a few minutes a day to read some interesting stuff. I troll the Google News Business, Technology, Health and Science sections for cool ideas – new apps, interesting approaches, surprising developments. It doesn’t have to be anything I’m going to do anything with. It just reminds me that there are creative people in the world and because I recognize that quality it means I have it too. That makes the gerbil ball seem that much brighter.