I mentioned before that I’m always keen at the start of new projects and whilst I’m keeping the momentum going, I’m fine, but that once I let things slip for a day I feel as if it’s a failure and it fizzles out. I’m trying to change this all-or-nothing approach by not agonising if I veer off the track, instead just accepting that it can’t be perfect and guiding myself back on to it.
So far, the things I’ve found most beneficial are:
- the one-minute rule: if something takes less than a minute to do, don’t delay but do it straightaway. It’s shocking how many times during the course of a day I find myself thinking “Oh, I’ll do that later”. Then I keep noticing the offending task or it lurks uneasily in my mind, tormenting me and draining me of energy. By immediately putting the cup in the dishwasher, hanging clothes in the wardrobe, clearing the table, putting the recycling in the bin, filling the car up with petrol, I can forget about it and my mind is lighter and clearer and I feel more energised.
- the 10 minute evening tidy-up: every evening before I go to bed, I wander around the house clearing newspapers, plumping cushions, drying and putting away the washing up, and returning items to their homes. There’s such a feel-good factor in going to bed knowing that the place is tidy and coming down in the morning to a clear, clean and tidy space is immensely satisfying and gets the day off to a good start. The first couple of evenings it took a bit longer than 10 minutes but the brilliant thing now is that sometimes it’s only taking about 30 seconds and I’m actually wandering around trying to find something to tidy. Applying the one-minute rule during the day has had an impact on this. I’d say that these two simple approaches combine to make a huge difference, well in excess of the energy expended.
- act energetic: you don’t feel energetic, so pretend, fake it, act it. Lethargy breeds lethargy. At moments when I’m feeling drained and can’t be bothered, I am quite simply faking the energy, putting a spring in my step or getting out of the chair as if I was full of the stuff. I’ve come to the conclusion that although man is highly intelligent, he is also easily fooled. Just by acting energetic, I am able to trick myself into feeling energetic. To this, I would also add, act enthusiastic. Instead of dragging yourself to the kitchen sink with a heavy heart and a weary step, bound over with a gleeful smile like doing the washing-up is the most exciting task ever and it’s an absolute joy to be doing it! Try it for a day and see if it makes a difference.
Have you tried any of these strategies? How do you make your life easier?