Do you ever feel like you’re running around like a chicken its head cut off? (Does that really happen?) You get the analogy – we run from one task to the next, letting our ADD lead us from one rabbit hole into the next (can anyone say, “squirrel!”?)
4th gear can feel a lot like this, when operating unawares. Here are some warning signs that you may have an unhealthy Gear 4:
- Tasks and achievements are the main priority
- No boundaries on your time – seems like you are always working
- Constant checking of your email and phone for texts
- Not sleeping well because your mind is racing
- There is a lot of activity but no real signs of progress
The problem with an unhealthy Gear 4 is that you think you are accomplishing something, but you are really not. True productivity comes when all the gears are in balance.
4th Gear is first in my “natural gear order”. In fact, I ran from one task to the next today in order to get into Gear 5 just to write this letter. I’m not even sure if I’m in Gear 5. LOL! I’ve had to work a lot on creating a healthy Gear 4. Here are some things I’ve learned over the years, to tone down my Gear 4 (and up my productivity!):
Healthy Gear 4
- Turn off your phone or leave it behind when entering into Gears 1, 2, or 3
- Teach your friends/family the 5 Gears so they can help you
- “Nothing is Urgent” – I wrote that in Sharpie on my bathroom mirror one year as I was learning to slow down and not be so reactive
- Schedule Gear 1, 2, 3, and 5 time. Stick to the schedule.
Use all the gears to make your 4th gear more productive – we’ll touch on more next week!