Just as I was thinking that my good intention list is gathering dust because life keeps interrupting my to-do expectations, I got some unsolicited support from a friend. He apologized for not responding on a link I sent him (a while ago). Then he revealed that he was eager to read it but was feeling swamped, as usual, because it was sitting within a full screen pile of get-to emails.
I got a good mental visual of what his inbox looks like because it looks a lot like mine and maybe yours, too. He opens, scans, assesses, flags, saves some as new, and adds to the good intention list. Then he responds to what’s urgent which generally leaves no time for anything else. And of course, when the time does come for the good intention list, well, the list just doesn’t feel so good anymore. How could it when it has so much stuff on it?! We are not alone.
When you're feeling this way, a dose of RELAX. SET. GO. will do the trick. Use it to give yourself a break and change your perspective. Remember, it’s a get-to list, not a guilt list. That alone will ease the burden of volume and offer the reward of actually getting to it. There’s a reason for the cliché “if I had a nickel for every time . . . “ If I had a nickel for every time I thought about doing something on my good intention list, I could probably pay someone to do it!
I think a new global goal should be: Pause For Patience. It’s a sad commentary that the immediacy of the email culture has created so much emotional baggage that people feel guilty if they aren‘t quick to respond. And even worse; how sad is it that someone may feel scorned or rejected if they don‘t get that instant response! This weekend, try something new. Turn off the blackberry, don’t check your email and if you do, respond at will. You will like it, you will see.