In 4. Doing Your CEO Job

I’ve got four questions written on a post-it in my planner, a post-it that I move from day to day, so that the questions are always in front of my eyes. So that I make time to consider them, maybe one day answer them definitively:

What are the things I love?
 How can I do more of them?
 What are the things I hate?
How can I do less of them?

I wrote these questions down in the middle of a crabby afternoon, a REALLY crabby Friday afternoon, when I’d just been engaged in four things that really irritated me. I know there were four because I wrote those down, too, on that day’s Notes page in my planner, to memorialize them and make it easier for Future Me not to blunder into those same situations again. The list is headed, “Things that really irritated me today.” Thanks, Past Me!

The common thread of those four things, when I look at them now with a few days’ remove, is that there was unclarity at their core. I was being asked questions that were unclear, so I couldn’t figure out how to answer. I was given instructions that were fundamentally unclear, so that my required actions to respond were uncertain.

I deal poorly with a lack of clarity.

But more than that, in all these cases, I was in the middle of a situation that I should not have agreed to in the first place, that I’d actually put myself in because I violated my own rules. Ugh, the worst. So the situation was annoying, but more annoying still was the fact that I and only I was responsible for being where I know I don’t belong, where I don’t and can’t do my best and highest work. Blech. Disappointing and annoying!!

As we emerge from this pandemic shut-down and all its impacts on our lives and work, we have, I think, such a genius opportunity to re-assess everything. I’m trying to be even more deliberate than ever when it comes to how I work and how I spend all the rest of my time. Which brings me back to those questions:

What are the things I love?
 How can I do more of them?
 What are the things I hate?
How can I do less of them?

What I hate is sometimes a lot easier to list out, especially on a crabby afternoon. But like anyone who’s ever had PMS can tell you, those crabby moments do a really great job of making us aware of things that bug, which we might, in better/other/different circumstances be better able to gloss over. Yes, I’m trying to use that crabbiness for good, hopeless (hope-full!) Pollyanna that I am.

I don’t have the answers handy yet, to what I love and how to spend more time doing those things, less on the things I hate. I suppose that’s always going to be a work in progress, an area where I’m always trying to improve where possible.

How about you? Are you clear on these? How much of your standard day is filled with stuff in the Love column? How could you, too, tip the balance, so that you minimize minutes in the Hate zone?

I’m obsessed with this right now. Fortunately, I have a lifetime to work on it.

xo

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