August 21, 2008
Frantic days, exhausted nights
My to-do list and projects lists are expanding at a mind-boggling rate these days. It seems as though I just get a few things done and checked off my lists, then five more tasks magically materialize to replace them. I’m juggling more balls than a circus clown on speed. I have tasks and reminders scribbled on scraps of paper, recorded in my Outlook tasks, and listed on my Excel spreadsheet. Some are overlapping while others are listed only once– and subject to being lost among the growing piles on my desk (again!). Will I ever return to the peaceful days when I sometimes grew bored with routine tasks and long gaps between special projects? Most days now there’s hardly time for me to catch my breath, much less daydream.
I haven’t written much in this blog lately because I’m finding it impossible to relax long enough so I can think, which enables me to write, which enables me to think some more. My brain needs periods of quiet and introspection in order to digest and absorb the dozens of random thoughts running wild through it. Writing helps me to lasso those thoughts into an orderly herd, so I can lead them to productive outcomes at work. Without introspection and writing, those thoughts get jumbled up and tumbled up, stepping all over each other in their frantic dance. If too many of them are dancing about in my brain, no to-do list or priority list can tame them. The end result– my brain freezes up and I accomplish nothing. I feel like a scratched track on a CD– skip, skip, skip– no forward movement through my day.
I collapse into bed every night, despite having so many thoughts buzzing through my head up until it hits the pillow. I find myself hungering for the weekends, hoping I can rest and renew my energy, both physical and mental, before I face yet another hectic week. I often wonder how long I will be able to keep up with this breakneck pace of managing so many new projects, most of them with no end in sight. I know I should be thankful for my job when so many people are losing theirs in this economy. It’s just that sometimes it’s hard to appreciate what you have when you’re so close to the beast that you can’t see the whites of its eyes.