A client recently shared that her boss told her she needed to care less, and it was causing her work to suffer. She calls it her Don't Care-o-Meter, and the idea blew me away. (I treasure being floored by new ideas. It's one of many reasons I love my job - a stream of stop-and-think ideas from insightful people :-)
How do you interpret this? Here are a few off-the-cuff thoughts:
- Being less serious about the outcome helps loosen up thinking. Tense people often focus too much on the immediate, and self-filter the bigger picture. It gives perspective.
- It defuses perfectionism. Everyone who brings me into their workplace is ambitious and motivated, and they pretty uniformly shoot for "A+ papers." Try this crazy experiment: Say the following when you feel 80% done with a task: "It is now Good Enough."
- It makes you think about how much effort you need to put into something. Try asking "What response is appropriate?"
- It gives you an excuse to check in on your emotions. Is it time for invoking a healthy sense of detachment?
I'll finish with how my client put it:
Now whenever things are not working out, or I feel stressed we check in on my "I don't care-o-meter". If I'm caring too much about things I know I have to back off. I've never had a case where I wasn't caring enough about something. But many cases where I just had to let go and say I can't worry about this anymore.
I'm curious: Have you done anything like this this yourself? Is there something in your work or life you could turn up the Don't-Care-o-Meter on?