Here’s a fun replay from a keynote presentation I gave years ago when I called my wife, Leigh Anne Taylor, to the stage to share this perspective of a fictitious book she’s writing. It’s way funny and way true. The keynote was about my four leadership principles, and she gave this illustration on Balance…or Not!
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 peak at my chapter outline.
Chapter One: E-mergency
Answer all emails at once. Do not delay. Stop whatever you are doing and answer that baby.
Chapter Two: Adrenaline is My Motivator
Save tasks that are “due today” until the last hour; 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.
Chapter Three: Be a Hog
Hog the copier. Put off using office machines until the last possible minute, never mind if your colleagues need them.
Chapter Four: Under-prepare for Meetings/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?
Chapter Five: Don’t Bother Planning Ahead, Wait Until the Last Minute
Careful planning is over-rated! 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!
Chapter Six: 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.
Chapter Seven: Run
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!
Chapter Eight: Do One More Thing
Do one more thing before you leave. That will ensure being late.
Chapter Nine: Shallow Breathing
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.
Chapter Ten: Run Late
Show up at the last minute, or better yet, arrive late. Increase everyone’s anxiety level!
Chapter Eleven: Yell
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.
Chapter Twelve: Fast
Eat in the 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.
Chapter Thirteen: Blame
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.
Chapter Fourteen: Calendar, Schmalendar
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 are exaggerations, but they are based on the truth of how out of balance my life was at that time.
This winter, as I enter a very busy season once again, I’m attempting 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 my “book.”
As I attempt to regain balance in my work schedule, I hope you’ll be encouraged to do the same. May God bless us on our journey.