The clutter of tasks


In my last post I talked about the temptation to purchase more stuff in order to organise our current stuff.  The real problem is that we often have too much stuff to begin with and buying more stuff to organise it is not the solution.  It got me to thinking that this philosophy can be applied not only to physical objects but also to tasks. What do I mean by that?  Well, in our time poor lives we are frequently trying to work out how we can scrape together some spare time to fit in more things.  We essentially clutter our days with tasks. What if we were to change our mindset and instead of finding the time to do more things, we did less things and enjoyed them more?

We try to manage our schedules with different apps or calendars on our phones.  We set reminders and alerts and run endless to do lists. Don’t get me wrong, I still do all of these things as I need some method to keep on top of the different tasks I have in the many different roles in my life but I am now actively making a conscious decision about any new things I add to my already very full life.  I have started to evaluate the things I am doing by deciding whether or not they add value.

I’d like you to try something for me.  Close your eyes for a moment and imagine what your perfect day would look like.  Think about how it will begin, what type of work you will be doing and how it will end.  Perhaps you get up early and play with the dog, have a hearty breakfast, dabble with a bit of work, go for an afternoon walk with friends, sit down to a healthy home cooked meal, have a long conversation/cuddle with your child or partner, relax with a good book and have a restful sleep.  This sounds like the perfect day to me, yours may look completely different but we all have an idea about what would equal a great day.

Take a few moments to think about what the perfect day would be for you.

I’m willing to bet that when you thought about your perfect day, you thought about things that would make you feel good.  You would not have chosen to rush out of bed at the last possible moment, fly out of the house, work long hours, grab some greasy sickening food and flop in to bed exhausted at the end of the day. This is not what we think about doing when we picture our perfect day but unfortunately for many of us it is exactly what we end up doing.   I know that you chose things that made you feel good, gave some meaning to your life, created some positive relationships with your loved ones and made you excited to get up and do it all again tomorrow.

For most of us it’s simply not possible to live each day exactly like the one I have described.  We still have obligations to our work and other people but it is possible to do one thing in our day that will make us feel good.  I challenge you to find one thing you are going to change today. Perhaps you will stop doing something that is making you unhappy. Perhaps you will begin to do something that does make you happy. Perhaps you replace the unhappy task with the happy one. Whatever it is, choose just one of those things you thought about and do it today.  You might then like to continue to do that one thing each day for the rest of the week and see what a difference it makes to how you feel.  If you do not go to bed happier, perhaps you have chosen something you thought would make you happy but didn’t. Don’t be discouraged, simply choose something else and try again.

I would love you to share your one thing in the comments below. You might just help another person on their journey.