Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Because I Find A Little Self-Help Keeps Me From Eating My Weight In Potato Chips. And I Want That For Each Of You As Well.

I thought I'd share a helpful little technique with you today.  I've been using this for a while now and I like what it does.  It has to do with our 'to-do' lists.  I loves me a list.  Grocery, To-Do, Invite, you name it.  I think lists keep us on track, organize our thoughts, and give us a nice record of our accomplishments thanks to the "crossing things off" function associated with them.  But sometimes my lists get out of control.

I used to throw all sorts of things onto a list of action items for each day - my thinking was that if I really loaded it up, I'd get even more done.  But it turns out that there was always something that I ended up not getting to in a day and instead of feeling a sense of completion by looking back at all I did accomplish, I'd feel a nagging energy that I hadn't repainted the kids' rooms, written a monthly newsletter or organized a family bar-b-que.  That same day.  My list was more of a "Wouldn't It Be Great If I Could Do" list as opposed to a list of things I really needed to do.  But no more.

I've been reading that we can usually plan to complete about five things in a day.  Realistically.  Sometimes it's just two, but five tends to be the max.  This, of course, does not include things that happen on a regular basis like showering, working out or regular meetings/appointments (all of which I would often include on my list just to give myself the thrill of drawing a line through them).  We need to really pare our list down to no more than five items.  These are things that, if they didn't get done we'd feel like a toad.  But it takes a realistic perspective.  And an understanding of work/life balance.

We'd all like to be super-accomplishers, but that doesn't set us up for success.  Often, if our list is too long, its size is so daunting that we may linger a bit longer on something that could have been wrapped up quickly just because we're dreading the next 300 tasks we have ahead.  So try thinking each morning about what the five (or fewer, if they're big) things are that will truly make you feel satisfied to accomplish in that day.  Then do them.  One at a time.  If you get done with all of them, go ahead and throw in a bonus task, or take a walk, or pour yourself a glass of wine an sit down with a good book.  Tomorrow you can get five more things done.  Remember, 'a mountain is climbed one step at a time'.  So think about your next five steps and you'll reach the summit happier and healthier (and faster perhaps) then you would otherwise.

I'm wearing this today:

The cooler temps are a nice change of pace.  So white jeans and a flowy top feel just right.

gratitude:  peonies, music, patios, rain

thanks and love.

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