“The quickest way to get out of a hole is to stop digging!” These were the words of my uncle spoken across the podium to a large crowd at one of the many public gatherings that I witnessed over the years. There are times in life when we find ourselves locked into a routine of bad habits or inefficient routines. Sometimes by the time you realize you have picked up bad habits you are in a perpetual habit of acting or going through the motions.
You cannot change a situation or circumstance by continuing your downward spiral. Stop what you are doing. Take inventory of what it is you find yourself doing on a daily basis. Don’t be afraid to seek help. Find someone, anyone, who is willing to offer you constructive criticism. Develop a plan to get out of the hole. Follow the plan.
There was a time I found myself on multiple boards and commissions. I wanted desperately to increase my work load as a designer/ architect, but had been going about it the wrong way. I was afraid to say “no.” I remember one evening getting home from work and looking at my wife and thinking out loud, “this is crazy.” I have been to four board meetings in four days and I haven’t completed an ounce of work that I needed for a presentation with a new client. I pulled back and began to prepare for a mental disconnect. I wanted to quit some of the things I was doing, but did not know how. I was so engaged that I felt to quit would reflect poorly on my ability to manage my own schedule.
You may face opportunities that would allow you to serve in an area of interest. The litmus test is determining how much you are able to contribute, not only how much time you have to attend meetings. There were meetings that required research for areas I was not well versed to have a definitive opinion or an enhanced course of action.