A few weeks ago, on a day jam-packed with emails and to-dos and a full day of facilitation for a client, I received a desperate email from a dear friend and colleague in London. She was scheduled to work with a client in three-days time, and was denied a visa to travel to the US. Did I know someone who could step in to help her, or could I step in to help her?

Now, I couldn’t really. I would do anything for this friend, and wanted to help her, but my week was more than full with my own client meetings, phone calls and deliverables. So I searched for someone locally who could take on the gig.

I found someone, who in all honesty was more qualified for this work than I was, and introduced her to my friend. But I couldn’t step out of the situation. At least not easily. I somehow still felt compelled to drop everything I had to do, grab the potential gig back from the qualified coach I had found, and step in to save the day myself for my friend. In fact, numerous times throughout the day – I mean over and over – I turned to Robyn (my business partner) and asked if I should. “Are you sure I shouldn’t do this?” I asked. “No, you shouldn’t,” she replied. Over and over again.

I may have an overactive need to save the day (see my post, I don’t need to be Mighty Mouse, on my personal blog www.lisakohnwrites.com). It’s something I’m working to unplug on a nearly daily basis. But I think something else was also going on here. Something that many of us may be afflicted by – an addiction to adrenaline.

Do you have an adrenaline addiction? Do I? In this age of multitasking and being plugged in 24-7, we often wear our busyness as a badge of honor. The hundreds of emails we’re behind on may torment us, but they also make us feel important. Our need to do at least two things at once, and maybe be in at least three places (the number of triple-bookings I hear about on my clients’ calendars), may make us feel needed and crucial to the work around us. It may make us feel a surge of vitality and aliveness.

Or it may be an adrenaline addiction. And if addiction is too strong and negative a word for you, just think of it as a habit that may be becoming a problem.

We all may get a rush from running from meeting to meeting. We all may feel that surge of excitement and aliveness as adrenaline courses through our body, as we handle the crisis (or perceived crisis) in front of us. And we all may be “addicted” to that surge.

I needed Robyn to calm me down and pull me back, and I spend a good portion of my days and my work advising my clients to slow down and do less (and do less more effectively). Meaning, I teach this stuff and I can still be swayed to take on everything and go at warp speed. I think it’s time to become even more aware of our dependence on, or infatuation with, having too much to do in too little time, and find more ways to say no, ease off, and be Thoughtful.

How have you lessened the adrenaline in your life?
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For help in saying no and getting more done well, contact Lisa at lkohn@chatsworthconsulting.com.

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