Tag Archives: tasks

Unmet needs as productivity block

It’s often easier to ask questions than to answer them… I’ve just posted this on my Facebook page, and totally confused myself: “The word of the day today is NEED. What do you need? Which unmet need is distracting you from working the way you had planned (or hoped) to?” How on earth am I supposed to know what I need? I can up with a 1000 answers, but which one of them is true?

Let’s start with the concrete bit: the work I have planned, and the way I hope to do it. I’ll be meeting a coaching client in three hours. Before that, there’s e-coaching I should work on, there’s some decluttering that needs doing, and there are some household chores that are waiting to get done. Whilst writing this down, I notice the way my language changes. There’s something I want to do (provide a great coaching session), there’s stuff I should do, and there’s stuff that’s nagging me.

My first answer would be: I need energy. Since it’s something I don’t have right now, I can write that off as ‘wishful thinking’. IF I had energy, I could do all of this. But I don’t have energy (it’s a lurgy day) and there’s no way t magically get it.

Reality check: energy is what I want. Not what I need.

If I can’t get all of this done -which becomes painfully clear now that I’m writing this – I guess my next answer is that I need to make choices. The coaching is an obvious priority: it’s scheduled, it matters to me, it provides money and fulfillment. Most of the other chores have nothing on this.

If I’ll allow myself to be led by the fear of not having enough energy to be a great coach at 3 PM I will procrastinate on the other tasks all day. Feeling I’m doing something wise (energy saving) but feeling bad anyhow (I could have done more).

Which leads to my next thought: I need to bite as much as I can chew. Or less. I need to feel safe in how I spend my energy.

As long as I’ll feel unsafe, I’ll procrastinate – to leave space for my priority.

That’s a useful insight. I’ll be doing the rest of my thinking around this off line for now. I want to turn this insight into practical action.