I continue to be more and more influenced 'Happiness at Work.' One of the concepts that the book lays out is of 'Alternative realities.' The basic premise is that there is no matter how you look at the world, it is one reality, not the reality. You can change your mental model - or how you look at the world - and change what you define as your reality.
An example; I woke up the other day worried about all the things I needed to do that day. I hurriedly got to my computer, started answering emails, doing whatever I could to get the quick tasks done soon so that I have a manageable workload. In reality, I was far behind.
But then I got a reminder email for one ritual I have established - called the morning quiet time. I spend at least 15 quiet minutes every morning, either just sitting with a notebook, reflecting and writing my thoughts down, or reading some notes from on Evernote, which contain some daily reminder. I do this with a beverage (typically chai and coffee, not a bloody mary:)). I look outside, enjoy looking at the morning sunrise, look around in the room, at the cat who is typically either begging for food or sunbathing! This routine helps me slow down, and defined my an alternative reality. Which this day was, that I had 10 urgent tasks to take care of, but only 2 important ones. And if the urgent tasks did not get done - really nothing significant would change. I might have a few responses go out later, a blog post written one day later. And there was more than enough time to do the two important tasks. Life was good!
Whether I am able to carry on this routine when I have to travel for work again - that remains to be seen. It might happen later in the day - but I am committed to this short, but precious quiet time. The time to define my reality.