Sunday, November 15, 2009

Learning to let go

Just a couple of days ago I attended a presentation skills workshop, where one of the things we were talking about was 'Learn to let go...' In this context the instructor was talking about how we have the tendency of trying to put everything we know into a presentation, and how we should learn to let go, and only include the most important information for maximum impact.

This got me thinking about other aspects of life as well, I think most of us have this tendency to hang on to things, whether it's while doing a presentation, or writing, or keeping old unused appliances in the house (this I noticed last year when we moved home looking at all the useless things that we had accumulated over the years) or things we do in our everyday lives... I think we do this out of fear that what we 'let go' of, might later prove to be critical or due to fear of change...the infomation that we didn't give might be the deal breaker; the old appliance that we threw away may become useful later on; or the daily practice that we didn't do might affect our lives.

I think this is one of the reasons we seem to be in this state of 'constant busyness'. We have all these new technological advances, and household appliances to save time, but somehow we still seem to be as busy as ever. At work we have the latest computers and softwares to make life easier and even when organisations grow, work never seems to become easier or less... maybe due to our habit of always doing everything and not deligating, not prioratising and due to the culture of 'if you work over time you must be working hard and if you leave on time, you're not doing a proper job (even though the person who stays till late might well be doing personal things!)... I think it's also due to this misconception that being busy makes you important, but chatting with friends, or reading, or taking longs walks are a waste of time... What we never seem to ask ourselves is 'what are we so busy with?' It's the famous Parkinsons Rule at play 'Work expands to fill the time available for its completion' So we can either be constantly busy or decide that we complete the work the best we can and get on with other things in life...

I think coming from a rather conformist society where everything usually is done a certain way and not sticking to that would deem that there's something wrong with you, I too had this 'rat race' always busy mentality... but then I've met many people who have successful careers, families and still manage to find time to read or write or travel and see the world.

Ofcourse I'm not saying that everyone who's busy is because they are creating work, we all go through times when we can be overwhelmed with work or life, but oftentimes we also create our own busyness...

Now little by little I'm analysing what I do, and try to reason, why it's important, and learning to let go of things that are not necessary, and finding myself with so much more time to read and go on long walks, and literally stop to smell the roses.

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Blogger Anna said...

Lovely post! And so true. What would people of fifty, eighty years back make of our lives now?

4:11 pm, November 21, 2009  

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