Positive Vibes — Pull the Plug
John: As I recently explained to Sandy in an earlier post, I am working very hard on being mindful. Eliminating multitasking and doing one thing at a time, the most important thing that can be done right now.
Sometimes it is hard, with so many different things happening at the same time. The colleague across the way wants to come to the door and ask a question as I am typing an e-mail and I lose my train of thought; or I try to check too many things off my to-do list every day, make a mistake and then get upset about that one mistake and not the 20 things I have just completed.
Inevitably, things will slip through the cracks. I will make a mistake again. I sometimes get impulsive, although I am eliminating that, and I work extremely hard at not burning bridges.
Goke says that what is important to remember is that most of the time, these mistakes are contextual. They’re not signs you’re a bad person. They’re signs you just answered 100 emails and need a break. When you notice them, don’t kick yourself. Just stop. Take a break. Call it a day.
Sandy, our inboxes never close, but we can still pull the plug. Sometimes, isn’t that the best we can do?
Sandy: Hey John, I believe that an honest mistake is NEVER a sign that you’re a bad person! In my world, bad people are those who have evil intentions and are willing to deliberately harm others just because they can.
We’re all human and we make mistakes. That’s how we learn. Smart people see their mistakes as a learning opportunity. There’s no such thing as failure as long as you learn from it. Figure out what went wrong and then take steps to insure that this particular thing won’t happen again. When you learn, it’s actually a success.
If you’re overwhelmed with things going on, and trying to do it all (which is not physically or emotionally possible), you will make mistakes. The thing to do is to make it so you’re not overwhelmed with stuff. If you messed up, own the mistake, and correct it in whatever way you can. Then be sure to forgive yourself and move on.
It seems that one of the things you might want to learn from all this is to set boundaries around yourself and your time. Lots of people check their email a few times a day instead of keeping it open and responding to whatever comes in, whenever it arrives. This way you will be able to focus on what you’re doing, and when you take a break, check for important emails.
Another boundary is to let everyone at work know that if your office door is closed it means you’re not to be disturbed. You can then even put a “Do Not Disturb” sign on the door to remind people to wait until you’re available.
The bottom line John is that I agree with you. Sometimes pulling the plug is the right thing to do.
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