Last weekend Dr. Science told me about a presentation he had attended in which the presenter asked the audience something like,
“You have a ‘to do’ list but do you have a ‘to don’t’ list?”
What a brilliant question!
I so often coach people suffering from Sortes Paradox:
To use the ancient example: One grain does not make a heap. This is true of the first grain, and the next few, but if you apply the same reasoning over and over, eventually you have a heap.
I’m not sure which specific hair I lost that tipped me into being bald headed.
The problem is not the unreasonable request – we notice them. It’s the things that individually seem so reasonable that end up burgling our time, creating unhelpful expectations and making rods for our backs. One day we notice and say, “How did I get here? – This was not in the brochure.”
Unfortunately we usually notice our boundaries in the rear view mirror – when we have already passed them.
The only way to protect our boundaries is to know where they are; to know we are going off piste when it’s happening.
Make a ‘to don’t’ list.
PS. In case you are wondering, Dr. Science is a friend who I mention so often in my blogs that I thought I would give him an engaging nickname.