Sunday, August 12, 2012

Pacing, Pavlov and Work/Not-Work

My mom used to say “If you want to get something done, ask a busy person”. While I understood what that meant before, now that I’m not-busy, I really get it. When I was working, I could just add another thing into my perpetual motion forward. Now, getting something done requires gearing-up - getting the momentum going again.

Granted, my days have slowed from the frenetic pace of work/life – for the most part. But when I have something “business/work-like” to deal with, I slip into the frenetic energy … moving faster, eating faster. The internal meter gets turned up. Pavlovian response to performance expectations kicks in – even though no one is watching, expecting, judging. Slight flight or fight response. Like a post traumatic stress response - triggered by anything that hints of details, brain-power, decision-making, rule-following - especially if it is a follow-on communication of any sort from my previous workplace.

I thought I had left that behind. Who knew these responses had become so engrained – that I had become so conditioned. I can see I will need to differentiate the personal business-like tasks from the actual work experience. That trigger switch has gotta get re-programmed. I need a new mantra.

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