If You Bite Off More Than You Can Chew, for God’s Sake Spit It Out!


Last night I decreed that I’ll do EVERYthing that I said I’d do today! Fine. I simply said I’d do some Saturday chores, finish editing my introduction, AND swim a mile.

Then, after C went to bed, I remembered how much I likeed playing Sudoku until I couldn’t keep my eyes open, ensuring that when I did close them, I’d fall fast asleep without any of those pesky, judgemental, self-critical reflections. While this behavior can keep me “awake” until 3, 4, or 5 am, I was only able to play avoidance-Sudoku until about 1:30 because this past week, I’ve consciously made efforts to create a healthier sleep schedule to reduce stress and anxiety. Even though I didn’t stay up unreasonably late, making even the smallest changes to your lifestyle can be exhausting, and I wasn’t able to wake up easily at 7:30 this morning. Or at 8:30. Or even at 10:30. I haven’t hit the snooze button and reset my alarms (plural) in…a week. At 11:30 I shuffled to my beloved hourish coffee-sipping transition-time on the couch by the window surrounded by plants.

Even my coffee-sipping transition-time was running an hour OVER schedule. How the hell was I going to finish cleaning, editing my introduction, AND swim a mile at this rate!?

Then I had a revolutionary thought!

What if my productivity-plan was actually keeping me from productivity? I tried an experiment. I hypothesized that if I modified my productivity-plan into something more realistic, then I wouldn’t feel  the resistance nor the guilt over feeling stuck.

I haven’t run the statistics, but I’d say the data strongly suggests that you can accidentally bite off more than you can chew, and choke to proverbial death.

These aren’t new ideas to me. What IS new, is that without someone else to help me recognize how my productivity-plan was part of the problem, I recognized my resistance, awkwardly adjusted, and set myself on a new course. I accidentally bit off more than I could chew and spit it out before calling someone to do the Heimlich maneuver!

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