Sunday, June 5, 2011

Choices, part two

This morning I woke up with this thought in my head: the most significant choices we have to make these days are how to spend our time. That is perhaps the real point I was trying to make in yesterday’s post.

Every day we face time-based decisions and often the deciding factor is quality versus quantity. Drive to work, which takes less time, or use mass transit, which might take more time but is less stressful. Work on a report in your home office after dinner, which might help your career a little, or play with your kids, which improves the quality of their lives and yours. Spend most of Saturday mowing, edging and trimming your 1.5 acre property and cleaning your 2500 square foot house or leave your 1000 square foot apartment for an all Saturday bike ride with a couple of friends.

Our contemporary culture places a high value on multi-tasking, doing many things at once; in other words, on quantity. Accomplishment always seems to have a number attached. We attempt to hit numerous goals, personal and professional.

A wise old proverb, sometimes found in a fortune cookie, says “he who chases two rabbits will catch neither.” The culture that led to that quote places high value on quality. In other words, do one thing well.

Perhaps the compromise is to do a few things well and stop trying to do everything. Make a choice to spend time on fewer things but choose activities or goals that are important to you.

My meltdown yesterday might serve me well if I view it as yet another sign to trust my instincts, simplify my priorities, pick my battles and, well, chase one rabbit at a time. If you are a regular visitor to this blog, maybe you can benefit in some way from this observation too.

No comments: