I had a meeting recently with a brilliant business woman/Broadway Producer. What was supposed to be (and, in part was) a meeting about strategy and marketing., became a conversation about productivity, time management, etc.
Somewhere along the way, I mentioned something about stress/worry. She asked, “what are you worried about?” I rattled off the various and sundry worries of a very blessed man (knock, knock, knock on wood), and said that they sort of train you to be a professional worrier in law school; but it was also my disposition.
Rather than just telling me to stop worrying, which most people do, she said, “Well, clearly, you need to worry, so why not schedule a time each week to worry. Put it on your calendar.”
So, now Fridays from 11 to 12, I get to worry until my little baboon heart is content. When my head tilts toward worry at other times, I remind myself that I darn well better hold off until Friday from 11 to 12, lest I not have enough to worry about during this designated worry time.
You see where I’m going here? We’re all told that worry is unproductive (it is), and yet, like telling an artist to be an “entrepreneur” or any of the myriad directions we give people without providing any real guidance on how to get there, telling someone who is predisposed to worry to just stop worrying is unrealistic.
Putting it into a system, however, really does shine a light on it; makes it appear as just what it is: a shadow of a monster.