If you could change one thing in your life, at this very moment, what would it be, and why?
A circumstance? A nagging stresser (ie. Are you stuck in Mopac traffic right now?)? A chronic health condition? A number you see on the scale? A predicament you’ve found yourself in? Your job, or your work environment?
Change is something we continually long for—If only X-Y-&-Z was different then I would be _____ (happy, less anxious, content, etc.)
Yet, in the same token, it’s something that can be extremely daunting.
“Change is hard,” so the old adage goes, and this ‘No, duh Sherlock’ philosophy couldn’t be more spot on.
Change is uncomfortable—doing something we don’t typically do, or shifting the way our daily tides flow, requires thought and effort.
And while change does throw us off…it can also be refreshing.
I was reminded of this over the weekend, here in Austin, with a “cold front” that hit the city. (note: “Cold” is a relative word in Austin, but the news reporters on TV were using it, so I will as well).
As the rain rolled in, the temperature went from 100-degrees on Friday, to 60-degrees on Saturday, with little to no warning of the sudden drop.
Saturday morning, as I walked outside to my car to go about my morning routine, I was hit with the harsh reality that I was in shorts and a short-sleeve top, and it was rather chilly.
Throughout the day, Austinites walked the city in their rain boots and North Face jackets, sipped Pumpkin Spiced Lattes in coffee shops, cheered for the Longhorns on TV with a little more ‘football season’ umph, and cooked up chili on the stove—our first touch of Fall.
While the change (correction: spike) in temperature threw me off initially, as soon as I embraced it, I was able to fully submerge myself into the spirit of Fall.
So it is with change…
As I mentioned, change is unnerving at first, but when we begin to fully embrace it, and ‘go with it’ is when a previously untapped ‘gusto’ starts to happen.
This methodology can be applied towards many areas of our lives: From eating disorder recovery, to a health-related goal, habit you wish to break (or make), a relationship you wish to mend, or mentality you want to establish (ie. More positivity at your job for instance).
Lately, I have been wanting to create the habit (change) of more productivity to my days.
Sounds simple, right?
Just do more?
Well, not necessarily.
Instead of doing my ‘natural tendency’ of making long to-do lists and multi-tasking to the max, I am actually trying to make shorter to-do lists and accomplish 1-3 “to-dos” each day with more dedication, focus and quality.
How am I accomplishing this?
A few steps:
- Each morning, writing down (with a pen to paper) my top 1-3 priority to-dos for the day—that’s it, no more can go on that piece of paper.
- Keeping a thoughtful watch on the time or task at hand in order to be most efficient and productive within the time frame I allot myself per task (for example: “I have 90-minutes to write this one article”; or, “I am going to read three chapters from this one book that has been staring me on the shelf for the past month,” etc.)
- Eliminating distractions. Closing out of Facebook. Setting aside certain times to check my e-mail and respond, as opposed to being constantly connected, all hours of the day.
Exactly what I was going for: More productivity, quality and fewer ‘to-dos’ (ie. Less stress) in my days.
So now, it’s your turn.
What is ONE thing you would like to change, or a habit you’d like to create.
Write it down—on paper.
Then create 1-3 specific action steps you will take towards getting there.
The kicker? Go and do it.
Fact: Step by step, small, consistent changes yield big results.