When Quitting Isn't Bad
By, Crystal J. Casavant-Otto
There are plenty of people ready to tell you that quitters lose and losers quit. Let's look at quitting in a little different way. I'll expound on it in a few moments, but the following quote by Osayi Osar-Emokpae from "Impossible Is Stupid" sums up where I'm going today:
"Quitting is not giving up, it's choosing to focus your attention on something more important. Quitting is not losing confidence, it's realizing that there are more valuable ways you can spend your time. Quitting is not making excuses, it's learning to be more productive, efficient and effective instead. Quitting is letting go of things (or people) that are sucking the life out of you so you can do more things that will bring you strength."
The headline of a June 16th 2012 article in the New York Daily News read: Stress Levels Soar in America by up to 30% in 30 years. Our friends and neighbors are working 50-60 hours each week (not including drive time to and from the office or additional time with volunteer activities) and divorce rates are climbing. Some of us have too much on our plate. Our calendars are filled with things to do. We aren't finished with one meeting and we are checking our smart phones in anticipation of the next meeting. If we are honest with ourselves, we aren't truly engaged during most of those activities. During luncheon presentations, we are checking the emails from our office, answering texts from teenage children wondering about transportation arrangements for evening sports events, and taking a mental inventory of what's in the cupboard to throw together for dinner. Add in the stress about finding time to get to the gym, worship time, and the ever elusive time to call and catch up with a friend and what do we have?
WE HAVE OVER-STRESSED UNHAPPY PEOPLE!
That's a depressing statement - so don't stop reading here ... I dislike a problem without a solution, so stick with me a bit longer and I'll offer a solution.
Look at your calendar. If you are using a smart phone, just humor me and print out your calendar for the month. Take a look at one month (not a holiday month please). Write down the different things you see on the calendar - put them into a list:
Volunteer Meeting for ______________
Lunch with the ________________ Group
Send out reminder email to the ______________ Group about upcoming meeting
Work at ___________________
Take this list and assign a number value to each item. Give the things you love a 10. The items marked 10 are the things you "can't not do" meaning you truly enjoy them or the value they bring far outweighs the things you may dislike about them. For example, processing payroll for our business isn't 'fun' necessarily, but it sure beats paying someone else to do it. The money savings makes the 15 minute job time well spent. If the volunteer meeting for the _________________ association is becoming a total drag and you groan at the thought, give that a 1 or a 3. If lunch with the _______________ Group leaves you feeling refreshed, creative, and excited - give it a 10.
Do you have your list with a number value beside each?
10 - Process Payroll
10 - Pay Taxes
5 - Volunteer Meeting for _______________
3 - Lunch with the ______________ Group
2 - Send out reminder email to the _____________ Group about upcoming meeting
10 - Work at ___________________
Looking at this list again, I can see that the Volunteer Meeting for __________________, Lunch with the ___________ Group, and Sending out reminder emails for ____________ Group are activities that no longer serve me. Whatever joy I took in those groups/organizations in the past, has expired. It may be painful, but if I want to de-stress, I need to allow myself time for thinking, relaxing, and being creative.
Now it's time to take action. I've taken an inventory and I know what I need to do - I am going to remind myself that quitting isn't bad, it's something I need to do so I can take things to the next level in other areas of my life. I will have more time to do things that give me strength!
Enjoy your new found strength!