Some days are better than others.

Between one type of day and another, there is a very wide range of grays.

There are days when you have so much energy that you feel as if you were able to eat the world and days when you are so blue that everything seems impossible to achieve.

Days when you say yes to everything because everything seems to fit in your schedule, and days when you are barely able to finish the first task on your calendar.

I think you get the idea of what I mean.

Between one type of day and another, there is a very wide range of grays.

Well, when it comes to making decisions, in general, but especially when it comes to making to-do lists, or assessing to what extent we are capable or interested or convenient to embark on a new project, it is more than advisable to be in a moment that tends to equidistant from both ends of the mood spectrum.

Being optimistic about our capabilities is good. It is a positive attitude, and it will be good for us and those with whom we interact.

But being overly so can lead to a lack of objectivity. It can lead to not having our feet on the ground and not being realistic at all. And acting in consequence, to write down in our list more tasks than we can hardly handle.

This inevitably leads to frustration for not being able to solve all the items on our to-do list or to occupy more hours of the day than those strictly necessary and end up burning ourselves out.

And this situation, maintained over time, leads directly to the other end of the spectrum.

At the other end of the line, life weighs heavily on our shoulders and the day seems like an endless uphill climb.

If you let yourself be carried away by this mindset, you will believe that you are less efficient than you are, you will perform fewer tasks than you are capable of, and this will continue to undermine your mood.

Ideally, however, we should not have to wait until we are in the right mood. In fact, we should “work on objectivity”. Be able to abstract from the mood we are in, and make decisions with data in hand. As objectively as possible.

I don’t always manage it, and many times I do it half-heartedly. But a technique that I apply that works reasonably well to me is to “stop and smell the roses”. Stop the activity, frenetic or not. If I can, I get out of the place where I am, much better if we can get outdoors. I empty my mind of all the issues that generate anxiety, thinking of something that generates well-being (I have a very specific place on a beach that I like very much, which I return to in my head in the days of harsh winter). Once I “reset” my mood, I evaluate the situation and try to rationalize it. I look into how to solve the problem by attacking it in a structured way.

First one part.

Then another.

I don’t always succeed, and sometimes I get halfway there. But other times, and those are the ones that matter, I manage to abstract myself from polarized moods and return to the path of objectivity.

--

--

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store