Have you ever felt completely overwhelmed with all the stuff that you have to do that you spin in your tracks and go nowhere instead of making progress? Welcome to my world. Sometimes I expend so much energy thinking about all the shiz I have to do and trying to figure out how to work it all in, that it ends up robbing me of the joy of being present and keeps me from getting anything done at all.
I started thinking about what it actually means to me to have a “good day” productivity wise while also honoring my health goals and personal needs. A little ME time ain’t bad and sometimes we have to schedule that stuff in too. I realized that I like getting things done but I don’t have to get it ALL done at once. Progress over perfection is my new mantra. To that end, I created a little rhyme regarding 4 of the categories that are important to me to feel good about my forward progress.
I was inspired by the rhyme brides often use on their wedding day to ensure good luck. They are supposed to wear something old, something new, something borrowed and something blue.
Along those lines, I came up with my own rhyme for improving my productivity without the stress, and it includes these four categories:
Do something HARD, something TRUE, something BUSY and something YOU.
Allow me to break these down.
Something hard: This can be anything that takes energy, that is out of your comfort zone, or something that pushes you. It might be writing in your journal, creating a blog post, or taking a class that is challenging. Maybe it’s having a tough conversation with someone. It might be something that isn’t necessarily hard, but requires diligence and brainpower. We all have those hard things we have to do in life that often get pushed to the bottom of the list simply because they are challenging and possibly uncomfortable. Acknowledge that it won’t be fun and do it anyway.
Something true: This can be something that is true to you, something that honors a value that you hold dearly. Examples might include spending a little time on a goal you have made or on something you are trying to accomplish that requires dedicated time. Maybe it’s a meditation practice or spending time with someone special. It’s time you dedicate to invest in something that is important to you.
Something busy: We all have a lot of these things. Cleaning out a closet, writing thank you notes, paying bills, or doing the laundry. These might be day to day tasks that simply aren’t that fun and feel like busy work. But they need to get done. Sometimes, I’ll set a timer and say I’m going to do something for 20 minutes and then stop. What usually happens is that by the time the timer goes off, I’m in a mode and I finish up the project. But if I quit at 20, and I’m still not done, that’s ok too. I made progress.
Something you: This can mean anything but typically involves some kind of self care. For me, it was taking a yoga class. It might be taking time to listen to your favorite podcast or going on a long walk with a friend. Whatever it is that you need, do that for yourself!
I’ve found that when I break down my work into these categories and earmark my time for each, I feel balanced and accomplished. And what a great way to make progress in your day!