Relationships should be our top priority. After all, they’re at the cornerstone of our happiness. The problem is that when we’re feeling overwhelmed and stressed, we don’t give them the patience, time and nurturance they need.
So, how do you get off the crazy ride?
I’ve got two awesome hacks to make you a productivity rock star and bring calmness and energy into your life.
These two tools will improve your life satisfaction and your overall sense of well-being.
They will seem deceivingly simple, but don’t let that fool you. These hacks really work.
TIP #1: GETTING RID OF YOUR TO DO LISTS
You know that list that you’ve been writing and re-writing for the last month (or six months?)
You know how you’ve had “clean the garage” on that list forever? And you know how you never actually clean the garage but you’ve gotten really good at writing down that you’re going to clean the garage? Yeah, well that’s going to change with this strategy!
Think of never writing a “to do” list again. Instead, you’re going to schedule in everything that was on your list and actually get it done. So, clean the garage is now on your schedule for June 15th from 9:00-12:00. Yes, maybe that’s a month from now, but so what? That’s the only time you really have to get it done anyway. You know the best part (other than the fact that you’re being realistic about when you can really get this job done?) The best part is not seeing this on your list day after day and feeling bad because you’re not doing it (yet again).
Psychologically, not having “To Do” lists is good for your soul.
Along with scheduling, I’d like you to incorporate a concept from motivational speaker Brian Tracy. I’d like you to do what he calls “Eat the frog.” Basically, this means that you want to schedule the hardest thing, or the item you want to do the least, at the very beginning of your day. Get it over with. Otherwise, it sits there and you’re dreading it and finding reasons not to do it. This is why I work out first thing in the morning – I don’t have all day to talk myself out of it.
TIP #2: JUST 15 MINUTES
The next tip I want to talk about it another super easy one, but also very effective. I call this one the “just 15 minutes” hack.
Let’s say your kitchen is a mess. You’re avoiding it because, well, it’s a mess and who wants to deal with that on a Sunday afternoon? You tell yourself that it’s going to take like, an hour to clean and you don’t want to waste your whole day off cleaning the kitchen (yes, we can all be drama queens when the kitchen mess is cutting into our “me” time). Walk into the kitchen and set the oven timer or your phone timer for 15 minutes. Tell yourself that you’re just going to clean the kitchen for 15 minutes. Whatever you get done, you get done – no pressure. I’ll tell you what will happen – you’ll likely get the whole kitchen clean (or darn close to it) in those 15 minutes. It amazes me every time – I can never believe that it just doesn’t take as long as I thought it would.
By the way, let’s say you don’t do the 15 minutes. What’s going to happen every time you walk into the kitchen with a dirty dish? That’s right, you’re going to just add it to the pile until the kitchen really will take hours to clean. But if you’ve done your 15 minutes, you’ll put your dirty dish in the dishwasher or clean it quickly and NOT add to the mess.
This works with your kids too. Instead of saying, “clean your room.” Say, “I’m setting the timer – go clean your room for 15 minutes.” If your kids are little, you can even make it a little bit of a contest – “I bet you can’t clean all your toys off the floor in 10 minutes – if you can, you can have 15 minutes of screen time” (or whatever prize you want). Just be careful that everything gets put away and not shoved into the closet.
So, until next time: Stop making “To Do” lists and start scheduling. Next, start setting the timer for 15 minutes for all those jobs you don’t want to do. You’ll be amazed how productive you really can be.
If you really want to integrate these new habits into your life, take a few minutes and watch my Facebook Live on this very topic.
I really want you to try it out. Give it a go. I guarantee you will find a happier life on the other side of your to-do list.