Are You Suffering From PPCA (Perpetual Planning & Compulsive Action) Syndrome?

14/03/2015 8:27 AM IST | Updated 15/07/2016 8:25 AM IST
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USA - 2008: Tim Bedison color illustration of women stretching out and lifting shopping-bag weights as they prepare to sprint to holiday shopping. (Fort Worth Star-Telegram/MCT via Getty Images)

It was a perfect Saturday morning. I had slogged from Monday to Friday, putting in 12-hour days, and I got up feeling relaxed and cheerful. After all it was my personal indulgence day. And as always, I had planned a perfect action-packed Saturday to extract the most from my favourite day.

My usual Saturday, indeed the entire weekend, goes something like this: some retail therapy, a visit to the spa in the afternoon, a play/movie/concert in the evening and often a lunch or dinner with friends. Anyone reading this will feel so envious of my life.

And yesterday was no different.

I had a relaxed morning with my favourite breakfast, went for a head massage, and took an extra pedicure so that I could catch the budget speech live in the parlour itself. Got some biryani packed for the kids' lunch that we all devoured. After lunch, went to buy some seasonal plants from the nearby nursery (my new hobby), came back transferred it to new pots and indulgently admired my effort. The evening was even better, attended a perfect terrace party with lots of friends, perfect weather and some mouth-watering food.

There it is. A beautiful perfect Saturday had come to an end, but why was I not feeling satiated? Why wasn't I feeling contended and at peace with myself? There was no reason for me to be feeling the way I was--it was just like the Monday morning blues.

I noticed that my mind had already shifted to all the things that were pending and I had to complete the next day... respond to some mails, weekly call to my mom, pollution check for my car, a concert in the evening etc, etc.

Now multiply this 3X to understand the intensity of this list on any normal working day where the activities are routine and supposedly not so joyful.

This got me thinking and I decided to pen down an honest confession.

"There is part of me that never relaxes or puts her feet up."

I suffer from a PPCA (perpetual planning & compulsive action) syndrome and it stems from a nagging feeling that there is always something that I have left undone. My mind does not give itself a natural break to relax and soak in the appreciation of all that I have accomplished. Instead it immediately drifts to the next list. And I don't know how to stop it from doing that or how to stop the guilt that comes from not doing anything for more than 30 minutes at a stretch.

There is part of me that never relaxes or puts her feet up. If nothing else, I will write a new article to keep my mind active.

There are so many friends and colleagues who constantly admire my multi-tasking ability and the fact that I have accomplished so much.

I am sure some of you will relate to this, especially the positively dissatisfied lot who want to achieve a lot not just for themselves but also for those around or don't know how to say 'NO'. And some others who believe that there is only one life and not a moment is to be wasted.

Whatever may be the reason or motivation, believe you me it is a very tiring way to live. In a culture of over-achievers, we make things happen - and happen fast.

I have found my solution to ease the beat-the-clock jitters. A powerful 21-minute "Inner Engineering" practice every morning. Another very simple but highly relaxing trick is simply closing your eyes for a few moments every couple of hours. A great feeling of calm and still engulfs you where 'being' becomes more important than 'doing'. Over a period of time, you start focussing and only doing things that you truly enjoy and filtering out the rest.

Try it - it works!

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