If you are like me, the idea of bringing your B-game on purpose is an almost alienating concept, and this newsletter may require a trigger warning for perfectionists and over-achievers, but I'll encourage you to give it a read anyway.
Because for many of us, the end of the year is a pretty stressful time.
And while I'm not claiming to have the silver bullet that makes it all chill, I feel that my 3-minutes-a-day approach can help you reduce your stress levels by, let's say, 10 or 20 percent.
And that can make quite the difference, don't you think?
So here goes: 3 questions to determine when ‘good’ is good enough …
1) Who needs me on my A-game today?
Right now, I use an old-school daily planner with morning and evening prompts, and I have to confess one of my favorite things about it is that on Friday morning I answer the question “Who needs me on my A-game today” with “nobody.”
See, I don’t do client calls on Friday but admin and doctors’ appointments and sessions with my coach. Naturally, none of these require my A-game. And writing “nobody” gives me a wicked sense of satisfaction. Every. Single. Time.
It's probably not exactly what the creator of this productivity planner intended, but it works for me. I am more productive when I realize that on some days, I don't have to shine. I just have to get stuff done. (And checking off a whole bunch of low-hanging fruit on the to-do list is super satisfying too!)
2) What happens if I drop this ball?
Fact is, we all mess up and drop balls sometimes, and nobody has ever completed all tasks they plan to take on. Especially not with all those holidays approaching. Accepting that is the first step toward releasing the major anxiety the eternal to-do list may create.
To take it a step further I suggest dividing your main tasks into two categories: glass balls and tennis balls. The former tend to break easily when dropped, while the latter can easily take the hit and be picked up again later (if picking them up is really necessary). Keep your eyes on the glass balls!
What happens if you don't answer the “ultra-urgent” email immediately?
Or when you buy cookies for your kids/team members/friends instead of proving that you could compete on the Great Bake-Off?
Nothing much, exactly. So please, choose your stressors wisely! 😉
3) Can my B-game serve someone well today?
One common trait among perfectionists and over-achievers everywhere is that they (okay, we) overdeliver and then get testy if nobody appreciates the extra effort.
But seriously, that's not the other people's fault. And it's not a problem at all.
It may be hard to wrap your mind around this idea, but most likely, anything you may consider your B-game is still more than up to par. And it may be exactly what someone in your life needs.
They get what they need, and you saved a ton of time and effort delivering it.
That's what I'd call a win-win!
Do you have a B-game strategy?
If so, I'd love to hear it!