Last Monday I was on multiple deadlines and in the final stages of a negotiation which was threatening to fall apart at the last minute.
I woke up and glanced at my calendar and realized I had totally forgotten about a previously scheduled lunch on my calendar with an old friend and mentor.
'Not a good day for this' I thought. Too much to do. Too many problems to solve. I was feeling overwhelmed by the day ahead and I just needed to buckle down.
I was about reschedule, but then my counter-intuition kicked in, and I decided not to.
We ended up spending 90 leisurely minutes together, and it turned out to be the best way I could have spent that time.
I left our lunch with new ideas about some of the pending issues in the negotiation and a fresh perspective on my role and purpose at work. That afternoon and throughout the next day I worked with renewed vigor and a clear mind, and we got the deal done ahead of the deadline.
The situation reminded me to listen to my counterintuition.
When we have a lot to do, often what we need is to slow down or take a break.
And when we're tired, sometimes we need to get out and sweat.
And when we have extra space and time in our day, we shouldn't try and fill it in advance, but just see what happens.
Often the counterintuitive path is the one to follow.
Sign up for email notifications for future posts
You might also be interested in these articles...
Peter Koehler's Writing Archive