2008-09-25

The tension habit

I am at home having problems with my back. I take it as a lession: When I look at me and trying to get aware of what happened I notice that whenever a problem arises, an email is arriving that is potential workload for me then I get tensed up - my muscles are not relaxed. People are loading me with work. It is so easy to write a mail asking somebody to get your problem to be done.

I wonder where this behaviour comes from. I immediately think of the Neanderthals stalking for animals or listening to the sounds if there probably a bear is getting close to them. - Or next thought: A soldier is at the front and tries either to stop breathing to not move - to avoid being discovered by the enemy.

Why the hell do I behave the same way when an email arrives or when I am in the middle of a big work? - It is like being out at the front. In modern offices you are always on the front because communication is not limited to the conference rooms. You have fixed phone, mobile phone, email, chat (often not only a single chat application running), people rush in...

In stone age people went out hunting then they turned back to their group hiding in a cave. Until some years ago people could hide in their houses but nowadays everybody needs to stay connected not to miss any of the important changes out there. Economy continues even while you are sleeping. The PC connected to the internet always may have bad news delivering through RSS feeds, mailing lists or other websites all of a sudden.

But the big question that remains: Does it make a difference to be tensed up? I could also face all that stuff in a relaxed manner. There is no reason to constrict my muscles.

So I am asking me now as often as possible:
  1. How many of my muscles are constricted?
  2. Are there more muscles constricted as really necessary to get the thing done I am actually doing?
  3. Do I stress my brain and my muscles more than necessary?

And I say the following to myself:
  • Relax, things will not get faster done if I am tensed up.
  • Relax the muscles, relax the mind, relax the nerves.
  • Slow down, I can't do everything.
  • If I could do only one thing now, which thing should it be that makes most sense?
Last, but not least a quote from David Allen:
Your power is proportional to the ability to relax.
Related posts: How not to eat the frog, You can't urge the river flowing, All Done status, Reduce the stress factors, In the present moment.

2 comments:

Avani-Mehta said...

Yoga is the answer for you dude. get stress free, relax, exercise your back etc all in one package.

Hope you get well soon.

Martin Wildam said...

Thanks for the wishing.

Actually I did some yoga many years ago. The exercises were very hard, I remember.

Probably I should give it another try. Thanks for the suggestion.