I often rave about it and suggest it to clients and friends. This post is inspired by my rereading the chapter titled ‘If someone throws you a ball, you don’t have to catch it’. Basically, the chapter illustrates how we often get caught up in other peoples’ struggles and try to solve other peoples’ problems.
Getting caught up
This is something I’ve had to learn myself. I also see that my clients will often get caught up in catching balls that they don’t need to. Automatically assuming that they have to take on something that they don’t have to. From the 4 Ds perspective of Time Management, this tactic falls under ‘delete’.
Imagine the following, you are really busy, and a colleague calls wanting to express her frustration after a meeting or about a piece of work. Rather than saying, “I will have to call you back later” or let the call go to voicemail, you drop what you are doing and get straight into the role of helping her solve the problem. You then spend the next hour stressing and trying to catch up with what you were originally doing. Take it one step further and you could even feel resentful because it feels like everyone wants your attention or is making demands of you.
What this idea does is gently remind you that you don’t have to catch the ball every time. You can let it fall next to you sometimes. The world will not end. It doesn’t mean that you can’t ever catch the metaphoric ball, but it does mean that you choose when to do so.
Personally, I’ve found that this has helped me cultivate calm and control in my life. Life is full of so many balls being thrown at you, from all different angles so being selective over which ones you catch is an important skill in managing your time and energy. Consider this: next time you answer the phone or reply to a text when you are busy – you are choosing to ADD to your stress levels at that time rather than leaving it for later.