Slight break from the Yesterdave theme today: I wanted to talk about a situation I have been finding myself in, and my thoughts on treating it.  When I am very stressed, no matter the cause(s), I tend to lose my natural vigilance about my attitude toward friends, co-workers and stuff I’m doing.  By this I mean I allow the stress to show through and affect my behavior in negative ways.  I sweat more small stuff, I spend more energy and attention on things that don’t matter, and I take offense with things that I should have been able to tell weren’t intended that way.

I’m not sure the correct solution is.  Thinking about it this morning, I think one symptom that might be treatable is how difficult it can be for me to communicate my positions in discussions while my total stress level is high – both in the sense that I don’t really intuit my own position well and can’t devote brainspace to explicitly thinking it through, and in the sense that I can’t let the other people know what I intend.  Because I get upset by this, I tend to make it worse.

My normal plan would be to break myself out of the pattern, but when there’s a lot of stuff that’s very important to me and I feel like I can’t drop any of it, I am bound to the stress by my nature.  Saying “no” to doing things that are important to me is not really something I ever do, even if an outside observer (assumedly even one who shared my principles) could say “obviously you should not also do that thing; you already have bitten off more than you can chew!”

It’s easy to talk about time management when everything can be given nonoverlapping importance, but what about when lots of things are all “the most important”? :-/