I don’t know about you but I ALWAYS bite off more than I can chew. Between thinking that tasks won’t take that long and being overly ambitious about what I can actually accomplish each day, at the end of the week I usually have only one, perhaps two, items to cross off my weekly To Do list. Now, it doesn’t really bother me but that wasn’t always the case.
In the past, I would get discouraged seeing that, week after week, I wasn’t crossing much—or anything—off my To Do list. Eventually, this led to not having any type of plan for the week or day, which resulted in a chaotic, anxiety-filled life. As you can guess, this was not anything like the life I’d imagined for myself.
So one day I took the time to answer the questions “Why am I ineffective? How can I guide myself so I can have the life I always imagined?”
It took several years of trying, finding things that didn’t work, capitalizing on the things that did work, and eventually tailoring a system that now works for me. It isn’t perfect and I still tweak it, but overall I’m more effective in my life than I ever have been before.
For me, it isn’t the system, necessarily, that makes the difference. It isn’t whether I use something complex with spreadsheets, bar graphs, and flow charts, or if I scribble a few notes on a scrap of paper. I’ve found I need to balance structure with elbow room so I have a clear idea of what I need to do but I also have room to move and breathe.
For me the difference—the key—is breaking tasks into tiny increments (this gives a lot to cross off each day’s list!) and acknowledging (celebrating!) the progress that I am making, no matter how small it is.
Your homework today is to look at the system you’ve devised for yourself. Tweak it as needed; be realistic in what you can fit into your schedule and what you actually can accomplish while also leaving space for rest, rejuvenation, and fun.
Remember to break tasks into tiny increments. Not only are they then easier to slip into your daily routine, but they have the bonus of giving you a lot to cross off your list—and many small bits of forward movement to celebrate at the end of the week (WooHoo—par-tay :D)!
Then celebrate your progress—I know you’ve had some. Maybe you haven’t taken any steps this week but perhaps your progress was on the inside. Your progress this week may consist of having insights that give you a deeper understanding of Life and your place in it, or maybe you gave a friend or loved one a shoulder to cry on. These are very important things because it isn’t just about accomplishment and achievement, it’s also about, in each moment, being the best version of yourself.
Post in the comments section your favorite ways of celebrating your progress.
I’m so proud of you!
Your Friend and Pep Pal,