Have you ever had one of those weeks disrupted by sick days, or snow days, or both?
You probably felt discombobulated, unproductive, and out of sorts.
It’s easy to notice the effect of these kinds of macro disruptions and recognize why they’ve thrown you off your stride. But the very same dynamic you experience with these fluctuations is likely operating all the time in your “normal” day-to-day life to a lesser degree. And while harder to register, it’s nonetheless inhibiting your ability to make any real progress.
Think for a moment about a wheel. A wheel makes things easier to move by reducing the friction between an object and the ground. But a wheel still requires some friction to work; without it, the wheel will slip and slide. To function, a wheel needs a surface it can dig into.
In our lives, we want to get things done. We want to take action. But action doesn’t happen in a vacuum. Just like a wheel, action requires traction.
Daily routines, a clear idea of what you want to accomplish, an understanding of what is expected of you, a grasp of when and where things will take place — this is life’s traction. Consistent, stable rhythms form the contact surface that allows you to get a grip and get going.
Greet each day like an unplanned-for surprise, leave tasks in limbo, work on whatever it is that happens to come to mind, and the ground beneath you, inundated with uncertainty, never firms up; when nothing is set in place, you end up stuck, mired in mud.
If you feel like you’ve been spinning your wheels in life, lay out a calendar, a schedule, a to-do list in front of them — give them something to dig into, so you can move forward.