I’m writing a new book. I’m thinking of calling it Adrenaline Junkie. Here’s a sneak peak at my chapter outline.
Chapter 1: E-mergency
Answer every email at once. Do not delay. Stop whatever you are doing to answer that baby.
Chapter 2: Procrastinate
Save tasks that are “due today” until the last hour, better yet, the last half-hour of your workday so you will have the added energy boost of adrenaline to help you complete your tasks.
Chapter 3: Be a Hog
Hog the copier. Put off using office machines until the last possible minute, never mind if your colleagues need them.
Chapter 4: Under-Prepare for Meetings/Rehearsals
Careful planning is over-rated! Panic provides lots of energy for a task. It’s contagious, too! If you can get other people panicked about a mutual project, just think of all that energy!
Chapter 5: Don’t Plan at All
That way you’ll find out what you’re really made of. Can you fly by the seat of your pants? Are you great at improvisation? Can you “fake it” in front of a group?
Chapter 6: Don’t Organize Your Stuff
That last minute search for materials provides a great panic push just when you need an extra shot of adrenaline.
Chapter 7: Do One More Thing
Do one more thing before you leave for your next appointment. That will insure a race with the clock and fresh bursts of adrenaline at regular intervals throughout your day.
Chapter 8: Run
Don’t walk. Run! Run to the workroom, run to the bathroom, run to your car, run yellow lights. Heck, run red ones. That gets everyone excited!
Chapter 9: Yell
When you are running late, yell. If there is no one there, yell at the empty house. Yell in your car. Yell at anything that gets in your way.
Chapter 10: Shallow Breathing
Keep your breath short and rapid. Your body will think it’s an emergency and will keep the necessary adrenalin pumping.
Chapter 11: Fast
Skip meals. Being hungry will increase your discomfort level and decrease your functioning level, which will force your adrenaline to kick in and do it’s magic.
Chapter 12: Fast Food
When you do eat, choose the drive-thru and eat in the car on the way to your next appointment. Gorge on foods that are bad for you. Sugar, carbs, and caffeine can feel like another adrenaline rush.
Chapter 13: Too Fast
Exceed the speed limit. Watch for cops. The adrenaline from your drive will really pump you up for your next appointment.
Chapter 14: Be Late
Arrive late. You’re sure to get lots of attention when you walk in and that will give you that final, extra boost of adrenaline for the task at hand.
Chapter 15: Blame
Blame your last appointment, blame your boss, blame your schedule, blame the traffic, blame the stoplights, blame your mother, blame anything or anyone you can think of for being late. It’s not your fault!
Chapter 16: Calendar Schmalendar
Don’t bother double-checking your calendar for appointments. Better yet, don’t write them down in the first place. If they really need you, they’ll call you.
I wrote this as a joke and shared it at a staff meeting as a way of apologizing to my colleagues during a particularly anxious season of my life. These “chapters” may be slight exaggerations, but they are honestly based on behavior patterns in my life at that time.
Becoming aware that I was an adrenaline junkie and the pattern of behaviors that supported my habit were two early and essential steps in my journey toward becoming a calmer person and a calmer leader.
Having a sense of humor about it sure helped me let go of my anxious ways! With God’s grace, I’ve adopted a calmer way of life…more about that later.
Sound familiar? What’s in your “chapter outline?”
Here’s wishing you all a hearty laugh, a season of post-Easter rest, and a calmer “chapter outline” for your life.
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