Part 3 of 4 part article – see A GWL addresses tough questions of life – (humor) for part 2.
A GWL’s (Genetically Wired Lazy) approach to dealing with work overload –
First, to a GWL, any work is ‘overload’. The word ‘overload’ is used in the title for the benefit of non GWLs
I love the work I do (I mean to the extent, work can be loved!). The only issue is that it comes at the cost of ‘free time’, which is infinitely more valuable.
So how do I deal with work overload? Basically the same way, early humans handled when confronted with a tiger in front – choosing either to fight or run away (‘fight or flight response’ – in scientific terms). In my case, fight is the only practical choice.
The basic idea is to the work but still manage to get as much free time as possible.
This is possible ONLY, if the work is done in least amount of time. (After all we don’t yet have a technology to increase time!).
Which means performing highest quality work at high efficiency.
For that to happen, I have to be fully ready (110%) – physically, mentally, emotionally and so on, whenever getting down to perform the work. Then the work, whether it is conducting meetings, writing emails or having conversations or whatever, is done with high quality, efficiency, with least errors and in least amount of time.
To be ready for above, this is what I do –
- To be physically ready, I eat healthy, so that I have good energy and am neither hungry nor too full. Further, I do optimal physical exercises.
- To be mentally ready, I practice yoga, meditation and so on, but more than that practice mindfulness in every moment of the day.
- To be emotionally ready, I make sure I am getting enough rest, sleep, entertainment and so on and do not have any pressing ‘todo’; list away from this work.
Since work needs to be done practically everyday, the above routine also needs to be followed kind of religiously everyday.
That way, I manage to have some time left, most of which goes into social activities and hobbies. The pattern of doing things efficiently and with clarity continues there also and anything that I am doing, whether it is something we do for our children, extended family, society or simply doing chores around the house or just doing some thinking or planning, just gets done in minimum time it deserves.
With that, I still manage to have to some “free time” – the most precious thing. The very reason for doing all of the above to begin with!
I agree, following the routine I mentioned above is a pain. But the ‘free time’ at end of the day couple with the joy of having finished everything I wanted, outweighs all that by a mile.
Hope you are not inclined to ask –
“Neeraj, so what do you do in your free time?
You already have had good sleep, have done mediation, done any physical exercise for the day, finished phone calls, emails, social visits, hobbies, whatsapp, facebook and everything!”.
Because my answer will be same –
“Friend, your question is wrong. It has a contradiction. If I did anything in my free time, it would no longer be free!”.
(Note: the above article was in fact a GWL’s pipe dream.
In reality, GWL, being a GWL (Genetically Wired Lazy), ends up doing none of the above and even squanders ‘free time’ by writing posts like this.)