“This is driving me CRAZY!”
“Yeah, it’s an annoying quirk in the program. You can work around it by…”
How many times have you dealt with blips and blurts that exist in systems and technology by finding ways to minimize their inconvenience? You do it all the time, to the point that you normalize the work-around as part of the procedure. You don’t stop what you’re doing to analyze the problem, understand what’s going on, create a solution, test said solution and document it for future reference. Too much effort when a work-around will suffice.
The same is true for other areas of your work. Instead of believing you have to overcome every challenge, sometimes it’s good enough to find ways of proceeding by minimizing those challenges. The question isn’t “can you overcome this foe.” The question is “is it worth the effort?”
For instance, if you battle procrastination, you can spend all kinds of time and effort analyzing why and directing your efforts and focus on this one thing. “I must conquer this challenge I’ve had my entire life. I will defeat this demon.” But you will be so preoccupied with fixing the problem, other things will go by the wayside. Yes, with enough coaching, practice and therapy, you can learn how to overcome your tendency to procrastinate. Or you can find a work-around.
As an example, if your procrastination originates because you don’t know where to begin, have someone else to begin the process (draft the letter or create and populate the file) so that you can engage it after it has already begun.
Or if you procrastinate because the task is large or new, schedule a time with yourself in the next day or two to get your head around the project and break it into chunks, identify your first step and then put that first step on your calendar. AND KEEP THE APPOINTMENT!
Or if you procrastinate because you believe you have to be perfect the first time, commit to creating a draft where you collect your various thoughts. Then put it aside for a bit (an hour or a day) to germinate. When you pick it up again, you will be prepared to engage.
1. Some challenges aren’t worth conquering or fixing. They are better dealt with by using work-arounds.
2. The goal should be to minimize the impact of your challenge on your priorities, not overcome it.
3. It’s not admitting defeat. It’s not a contest of winning or a platform to demonstrate your perseverance. It’s prioritizing your time, energy and attention on the things that really matter.
This week, choose one of your challenges you have (not the most difficult) and find a work-around that will be sufficient to prevent it from overtaking everything else. Then move on with your work-arounds.