Action step: gratitude
Gratitude is a critical component in becoming your best self. Your best self is grateful for all the diverse experiences life has to offer. For the next week, I’d like you to practice saying “Thank you” to EVERYONE! This includes the person who sells you coffee or groceries, the idiot who just interrupted you in traffic. Exercise those gratitude muscles!
Questions to ask yourself
1. How does thanking make you feel inside?
2. How does it seem to affect the people you thank?
3. How self-awareness did this exercise give you?
Action step: do, undo, delay, or delegate
In this fast-paced world, almost everyone I know is overwhelmed by the amount of things on their to-do list. We spend a lot of time concentrating on what we have to do next, which prevents us from doing our best on the element in front of us. While focusing on what you’re doing will help, it’s also critical to review that to-do list and break it down into 3 new categories:
1. Being abandoned: those things that don’t really need to be done, either because their need has diminished over time or is not really a useful thing.
2. To be a delegate: those elements that another person can do.
3. True Task: those items that really need to be done and that will give you the most for the time invested.
Once you have your true to-dos, break them down again according to the following categories.
1. This week: all the items that really need your attention this week.
2. This month: all items that need to be completed this month.
3. Sometime in the future: These are basically very low priority or “would not be good to do” items.
I recommend creating a word processor file that includes all three lists on separate pages. I would just print out the weekly list and focus on that. At the end of each week, look at the monthly list to see if anything should be moved to the file “this week” for the next week. Every now and then, maybe once a month, check some day’s archive to see if something deserves to be moved to the “monthly” archive. I think you’ll find that eventually many of the items in your archive will eventually make it to the “To be undone” list. “
One additional recommendation: Every day, use a 3×3 sticky note to choose 3 items from your weekly list to focus on today. Once you’ve done them, you can go back to the weekly list if you want. Either way, you will start to feel very productive if you actually finish those 3 items!
Questions to ask yourself
1. What objections arise when you place an item on the delegate or ditch list?
2. Be realistic about those objections. If they’re based on fear, take a deep breath and stretch by letting go of one item and delegating another. As you get comfortable, consider it and remove / delegate another.
3. Just a note: if you put something on the delegate list, make sure you tell the person what result you want and not what steps to take (unless of course it’s the first time the person has done something like this) . Micromanaging will hurt you, the other person, your relationship, and your motivation to improve at your job.