Too much to do? 3 Habits to set you Free.
Do you ever have one of those days when you have made plans at 9 am, only to find that at 5pm very few of those original plans have been accomplished?
Do you ever feel that planning is actually a waste of time? Yet, somewhere buried in the back of your mind, you know this is not true. You read somewhere to “plan the work and work the plan”. But how is this done? Let’s look at clarity as a state of mind to achieve so that those productivity strategies start to stick.
Clarity leads to productivity. But this is not just productivity for the sake of “getting more done”. Rather, I am referring to productivity that’s effective- that you are doing “the right” thing at any given time (not just “busy”).
Do you long for the feeling of being back in control? Do you crave feeling less harried? Try these habits for 21 days then email me back and let me know how you did.
- Find new and creative ways to say NO. For example, when someone asks you to commit to something, get in the HABIT of saying, I need to check, and get back to you. Then, stop and think. If I COMMIT to that, what will it mean? Might I have to bail out at the last minute? How might I then be viewed- as reliable or something less? We all know those people who smile and nod, but somehow, they just don’t follow through. Decide to be that person who does what he or she says and says what he or she does
- Get outside- every day. Even if it is just for 15 minutes. At this time of year, getting outside is easier for most people. Since the sun is rising by 5 am and not setting until about 9 pm, and it’s getting progressively warmer, the habit of “Outside” becomes easier. But we still have to establish the habit. What do you stand to gain from “going outside?” Just breathing the fresh air is clarifying. If we walk, jog, bicycle, hike, or do any other physical activity, the clarity only increases. Decide on a time of day to get out. Then try. When you fail, just try again, and again, and again. Reflect on what you learned with each “failure”.
- Delete One Thing. When you feeling overwhelmed, spill out all your to-do’s on a list. After this, remove 80% of those to-do’s. Why 80%? Because, according to the Pareto Principle (the 80/20 principle), 20% of your work helps you achieve 80% of your results. However, those who are seriously overloaded may think this rule does NOT apply to them. So, as a step in the right direction, delete just one item. Quickly scan your list, and find one thing that is not absolutely critical. Delete it. If you can keep going, please do. You will find that deleting the items that do not “sing” to you will become easier with practice.
In summary, practice makes permanent. Or, at least it makes a line in the sand that you will tend to follow again and again. Routines, as boring as they may seem, will set our minds free to be our creative selves. When we treat ourselves right by saying No, or Not Now to the events, people, and tasks that don’t serve us, we open ourselves up to fully focusing on the tasks which do serve us. When we get outdoors, our psyche is awakened and different pieces of our brain are enlivened. When we delete that one thing from the list, we come closer to actually completing the list, which leads to satisfaction and motivation. That motivation leads to a sense of control.
After 21 days, you may start to feel less harried. You will likely be running in fewer directions. A sense of calm and peace, that you perhaps forgot was there at one time, will begin to return. In turn, your goals will start to become realized. This will not happen overnight, but I promise, it will happen.
Let me know what habit you try on for 21 days. I’d love to hear from you.