#7 What Am I Doing That I Do Not Know I am Doing?
#7 What Am I Doing That I Do Not Know I am Doing?

Virtually all human activity takes place out of conscious awareness. Despite this, when looking to reduce their workloads most people look to trim their to-do lists – the tasks we are conscious of. And yet, what if that were only one source of overwhelm?

What our to-do lists fail to include is what I call our Invisible Workload. This is the collection of mental and emotional tasks that consume a significant amount of our time, energy and attention mostly out of conscious awareness. The invisible workload primarily arises from:

  • The thought patterns that interrupt and distract you;
  • The people, objects and environments you interact with;
  • The countless microtasks these generate; plus
  • The tiredness created by the constant stream of tasks.

Because it has so many possible components it can be complex to combat so I would suggest starting with two “simple” steps that will likely open further doors:

  • The first step is becoming aware in each moment of what is going on in your mind and how you are responding to whatever is going on in the physical world;
  • Secondly, ask yourself:
    • What is giving me energy?
    • What is sucking energy from me?

The bottom line is that awareness is power, power to change whatever no longer serves you.

For more thoughts on managing your invisible workload, this may be of help: Managing Your Invisible Workload: A Short Guide

Questions in the Image:

  • What am I doing that I do not know I am doing?
  • What is giving me energy?
  • What is sucking energy from me?

Want to Read More Around This Topic?

Thinking, Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman (link to Amazon.co.uk). This book delves into the two systems of thinking that drive our thoughts and actions. System 1 is fast and intuitive, while System 2 is slow and deliberate. Kahneman, a Nobel laureate, explains how understanding these systems can help us make better decisions and be more mindful of our actions.

Nurturing Curiosity – Daily Practice: This is part of the Nurturing Curiosity series of tools, insights and questions designed to help nurture curiosity as part of our daily practice. In point of fact, every interaction we have is an opportunity to question what we are observing and how we and others are seeing the world. Also remember that questions come in many forms throughout our day –the rattling of a train and the incessant conversation waffling through the carriage brings with it a twinge of annoyance as the voices break through into my thoughts, so I wonder What is so precious about my thinking? What doors might others be holding open for me with their words? Where might they lead?

About Tom O’Leary

I coach, mentor and teach leaders who are shaping a brighter future.

Leadership can be lonely, the challenges daunting, and the workload overwhelming. I help leaders feel heard, gain clarity, take action, build confidence and thrive! Leaders matter. Their work matters. We need them at their best!

The first step? Becoming more curious. I see curiosity as the key, allowing us to unlock deep insights that directly enhance our ability to think, act and lead.

This means spending time contemplating what might be possible so that when we take action, we can bring all our energy and power to bear.

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