I struggle at times to tell the difference between when I need to actually take a break and when I’m making excuses. But I learned a helpful framing earlier this week when UCLA’s SACNAS chapter hosted a time management workshop. The facilitator from our university counseling services suggested rating the strength of the feeling. Then to attempt the task you want to delay for just 5-10mins. Following that attempt, re-rate the feeling. Seeing how your rating changes or doesn’t will help you identify if it’s a feeling to be addressed or if you’re capable of taking on the task at hand.
I inadvertently did this last week when I decided I was too fatigued to attend classes for the day. Getting ready to head into campus I debated if I sincerely couldn’t make it through 3 hours of class or if I was just being “lazy.” I decided to go to campus anyways, but as I rode the bus I was feeling worse and worse. I made it all the way to campus before I asked myself if I could just make it through class or if I was in fact too tired to be functional.
So I noted how I was feeling but made a serious attempt to go to class. After arriving on campus and I re-evaluated my feelings and decided that I did in fact need to rest. Next time I’m wrestling with a dilemma of making excuses vs needing rest, I’m going to implement this idea of numerically ranking the feeling. I think it’s going to give me some easy to follow data.