I’m writing a new book. I’m thinking of calling it Adrenaline as a Way of Life. Or maybe I’ll try Time: There Will Never be Enough of It, So Squander What You’ve Got. Here’s a sneak peek at my main points.
Answer all emails at once. Do not delay. Stop whatever you are doing and answer that baby.
Adrenaline is My Motivator.
Save tasks that are “due today” until the last hour or, better yet, the last half hour of your workday so you will have the added energy boost of adrenaline to help you complete your tasks.
Be a Hog.
Hog the copier. Put off using office machines until the last possible minute, never mind if your colleagues need them.
Under-Prepare for Meetings and Rehearsals.
That way you’ll find out what you’re really made of. Can you fly by the seat of your pants? Are you great at improvisation? Can you fake it in front of a group?
Don’t Bother Planning Ahead; Wait Until the Last Minute.
Careful planning is overrated! Panic provides lots of energy for a task. It’s contagious, too, so if you can get other people panicked about a mutual project, just think of all the energy!
Don’t organize your stuff.
That last-minute search for materials provides a great panic push, just when you need an extra shot of adrenaline.
Don’t walk – run! Run to the workroom, to the bathroom, to your car. Run yellow lights. Heck, run red ones. That gets everyone excited!
Do One More Thing.
Do one more thing before you leave. That will ensure being late.
Be sure to keep your breath short and rapid. Mimic panic in your breathing at all times. Remember: you don’t have time to take a deep breath.
Show up at the last minute or, better yet, arrive late. Increase everyone’s anxiety level!
Yell at everyone when you are running late. If there is no one there, yell at the empty house. Yell at other cars, yell under your breath or right out loud at anyone or anything that gets in your way.
Eat in your car. Even better, don’t eat at all. Being hungry increases your discomfort level and decreases your functioning level, which will force your adrenaline to kick in and do its magic. When you do eat, gorge on foods that are bad for you.
Blame other people, blame your life situation, blame the traffic, blame the stoplights, blame your mother. Blame anything or anyone you can think of for anything and everything.
Don’t bother double-checking your calendar for appointments. Better yet, don’t write them down in the first place. If they really need you, they’ll call you.
I wrote this as a joke in a particularly busy season in my life and shared it at a staff meeting as a way of apologizing to my colleagues for my hyper-anxious state of being at work. I wish I could say those things were exaggerations, but they were based on the truth of how out of balance my life was at that time.
As I enter my next particularly busy season, I’ll attempt to do things differently, like taking time daily for prayer, exercise, good nutrition, and Sabbath rest. As an experiment, I’m going to take one workday a month out of the office to be still and pray. It’s already making me nervous, but I’m determined to do it to break the habits I wrote about in the book I imagined.
As I attempt to regain balance in my work schedule, I hope you’ll be encouraged to do the same. May we be blessed on our journeys.
Rev. Leigh Anne Taylor is a Deacon in the United Methodist Virginia Conference, serving as Revitalization Coordinator for the Lynchburg District, and President of The Fellowship of United Methodists in Music and Worship Arts. She is the mother of Emma and Taylor, wife of Hugh Ballou, hiker of mountain trails, reader of good books, lover of nature, and grateful counter of many blessings. She is the co-author, with her ex-husband Joe Cobb, of Our Family Outing: A Memoir of Coming Out and Getting Through. https://www.umfellowship.org/contact
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