You have a routine. It involves thinking largely the same thoughts and processing the same worries every morning. Many things seem daunting. Many fears appear overpowering.
But one way of getting through the day and actually making it more productive is to think apparently crazy thoughts that just might make sense.
Here are a few to get you started.
1. I Will Cancel One of My Meetings Today, Just Because
How long does the average meeting last? How often do you wish that you weren’t in it? How often have you walked out of that hour and thought: “That was a ritual. And nothing was achieved, except the ejection of blowhardy wind and bottom-covering negativity?” So pick the one most likely to achieve nothing and don’t go. Amuse yourself by deciding which one it’ll be. Then, amuse yourself by what you will do with that hour. Use it to free your mind, instead of having it held hostage. The next morning, think about how much difference your cancellation made. Here starts the road to sanity.
2. Today I Will Talk to Someone Who Doesn’t Matter to My Career
One thing we forget, as we climb inexorably toward some elusive (and perhaps nonexistent) peak, is how to be normal. There are people in the office who you think (admit it) don’t matter. They perform some lowly function. They might even be, Lord help the concept, interns. But, you need at least one moment in your day to get a little perspective. Perhaps there was a time when you were thought insignificant. (Most people were, except San Francisco 49-ers CEO Jed York.) Just one conversation with a real person from whom you have nothing to gain might make you a little wiser.
3. This Doesn’t Matter as Much as I Think it Does
Yes, I know your whole life, your family’s financial future, your very vast and volatile ego all depend on your entrepreneurial success. But when great sportspeople are at their best, the one thing they do very little of is think. The so-called zone is a place where anxiety is replaced by a certain slowing of motion and natural, thought-free decision-making. One way of getting there is to persuade yourself that this matters less than your wound-up nervous system tells you it does. You surely know that when you’re uptight, you’re rarely at your best. You’re rarely even yourself. So why psych yourself up? Psych yourself down instead. You’ll be surprised how pleasant it feels. You might even be surprised how much more productive you are.
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