#154 Follow the 5 Minute Rule

What tends to happen here is that once we begin to attack something – the enormity of it goes away.

Sharing 365 life lessons, tips, or hacks; the things that make life easier, happier, and more productive. I hope you’ll follow along and find them helpful too.

#154

Follow the 5 Minute Rule

About a year ago I ran across Mel Robbins and her explanation of the 5 second rule…. A commitment to start those things you’ve been putting off by counting down 5-4-3-2-1 – and GO. She does a much better job of discussing this and extolling its benefits – it’s worthy of attention if you procrastinate. Interestingly enough, as I was explaining it months later – I confused the concept by describing that we can do anything for 5 minutes so go ahead and … just do it. It’s different than Mel’s strategy but helpful nonetheless.

There are tons of things in our life – on our to-do lists – that we simply don’t want to do… we may dread it or be annoyed by our need to accomplish it. Perhaps it just feels overwhelming. The idea behind the ‘5 minute rule’ is that if spend just five minutes on that item  you are avoiding and still don’t find the wherewithal to keep going – then, stop; redirect and know that you made an effort.

Reality

What tends to happen here is that once we begin to attack something – the enormity of it goes away. We often finish before the five minutes is up, having manifested the ‘thing’ to be much bigger – more challenging – than it actually was. Additionally, after giving something five minutes of our time and attention, we frequently discover that we can keep going; that it isn’t that bad after all or that we’re halfway there.

Try It

As you go throughout your day and face something that feels overwhelming or too cumbersome to attack – consider using this 5 minute rule and step into it with a timer set. Let me know what the result is! I love to hear the successes or challenges when people make an attempt to …

Follow the five minute rule.

I love hearing your thoughts and ideas. Please share in the comments below

#181 Celebrate A Milestone

When you acknowledge and celebrate even your small accomplishments, you honor the work you put forth.

Sharing 365 life lessons, tips, or hacks; the things that make life easier, happier, and more productive. I hope you’ll follow along and find them helpful too.

#181

Celebrate A Milestone

Yesterday, I crossed the threshold of a milestone that is meaningful to me. I’ve published a daily post for six entire months! When I started this task of compiling 365 thoughts/ideas/tips of how to live live better, I didn’t really give much consideration to the significance of the challenge to write every day for an entire year. Shortly after moving forward, I realized it was going to take some appreciable thought and perseverance. While I have another 182 days to go in order to accomplish the task as a whole, I feel rather accomplished at reaching this point; it’s more than I’ve ever done.

Life is filled with milestones

There are so many milestones in our lives that we leave unacknowledged or downplay… what about that first time you finish a 5K? Or the time that you were offered a salary you had reached for? What about the savings goal you worked hard to accomplish? Those things are beyond the new promotion, the new house, marriage, middle age, and retirement but definitely worth celebrating!

Honor Yourself

When you acknowledge and celebrate even your small accomplishments, you honor the work you put forth. You’re taking a moment to recognize the part of you that benefits from praise and appreciation. It’s an audible “I did it” and an unceremonious “yay for me” that is deserved. Why not? It’s important to learn how to validate oneself – not in the pursuit of conceit or zealous pride – just an appreciative sense of accomplishment.

Celebrate

So today, I invite you to self-congratulate – if even for a moment – for something significant that you’ve accomplished recently. What major goal have you surpassed? What challenge have you conquered for the first time? What golden ring have you grabbed? Think carefully, pour a glass of wine, pop open a beer (unless you are celebrating a recovery milestone!), or grab a chocolate chip cookie and…

Celebrate a milestone!

I love hearing your thoughts and ideas. Please share in the comments below

#182 Do ONE Thing You’ve Been Putting Off

Any time we can promote a personal sense of accomplishment, we instantly feel better about ourselves and about the world in general.

Sharing 365 life lessons, tips, or hacks; the things that make life easier, happier, and more productive. I hope you’ll follow along and find them helpful too.

#182

Do one thing  you’ve been putting off

This particular tip will satisfy all three objectives in terms of making your life 1. Easier, 2. Happier, and 3. More Productive.

When we procrastinate, our inner voices often become critical. Criticism is a negative modifier to happiness. Procrastination complicates our life more often than not because it clogs the flow of productivity – contributing to negative self talk – fostering dissatisfaction overall.

If you’ve activated some of the earlier tips about organization and productivity then you may have a master to-do list. What item on that list has been there the longest? What is preventing you from accomplishing that task? What would happen if it were no longer on your list? If you still can’t find the motivation to tackle that task consider the reason it is there in the first place. Perhaps it’s important to reconsider the task in its entirety.

Rethink

I used to have a separate file for each bill that I paid throughout the year in case I needed to access it at a later point in time. I detested the task of filing and the pile would often grow to an unmanageable height – creating another layer of complexity to the concept of task completion. Eventually I realized that in all the years I’d been spending those hours carefully organizing – I’d never had a reason to go back and pull something from those files.

Today, I simply have a box dated for each year and all the papers go into the box – fully unorganized – completely random and IF… I ever need to find something I will spend the hours necessary to find what I need. I’ve saved 20 or more hours with this new – chaotic – but time efficient – system. The best part about this ‘system’ is that I don’t have a pile of papers waiting to be sorted – that pile haunted me every year!

Feel Better

Any time we can promote a personal sense of accomplishment, we instantly feel better about ourselves and about the world in general. It erases feelings of helplessness and hopelessness. It fosters a sense of control and personal power so take a look at your master ‘to-do’ list and identify the item(s) there that you’re procrastinating about most. Decide if the item needs to stay on your list or if there is a different solution. For the items that remain, make a decision today to…

Do ONE thing you’ve been putting off.

I love hearing your thoughts and ideas. Please share in the comments below

#212 Make a “Before I Die” List

Our thoughts are always running away in short fantasy about how we’ll live our lives and then we get caught up in the day-to-day living things, claiming that there aren’t enough hours in a day.

Sharing 365 life lessons, tips, or hacks; the things that make life easier, happier, and more productive. I hope you’ll follow along and find them helpful too.

#212

Make a ‘Before I Die’ list

What kind of things are on your bucket list? Who do you want to settle things with? What do you want to learn before you die? No matter how much time you have in front of you, it’s possible you have a long list of things you want to do before your time on this Earth runs out. Put it in writing.

Topics

I recommend that the list be divided into categories such as travel, people, learning, achievements, and good will as well as any other header that you deem appropriate. It doesn’t matter how outrageous it seems today as we never know what our future holds. Disregard – in the moment at least – the money  needed to achieve any list item; this is just a ‘master’ list; a dream list.

I suggest that one of the lists is ‘little’ things – regardless of topic – so that while you plan for the bigger, perhaps more expensive things, you are still accomplishing items from your list and generating a sense of satisfaction. I know someone that simply wants to “keep a houseplant alive” on her list.

Prioritize

Because we never know what tomorrow may bring, go back to each topic and prioritize the items there. If you want to travel to London, Quebec, and Fiji before you die, which one is most important? Second? Third? Which topic is most important to you? Is learning more important to you now than travel? Does good will tug at your heartstrings more than accomplishment? Since you’ll feel good about mastering the things that are important to you, you’ll need to identify them.

Begin

For many, this may be the hard part. Our thoughts are always running away in short fantasy about how we’ll live our lives and then we get caught up in the day-to-day living things, claiming that there aren’t enough hours in a day. Life needs balance and it is important to foster a sense of anticipation, excitement, and achievement. In order to feel those things, we have to step up and ‘just do it’. So… think about what’s important to you, what brings you joy, and what is happening when you feel satisfied. Then, with pen in hand…

Make a ‘Before I Die’ list.

I love hearing your thoughts and ideas. Please share in the comments below.

#262 of 365 Ways to live Easier, Happier, & More Productive

Don’t worry about knowing what to do … use your instinct at first and if you find that you have ignited a talent and/or an interest, you can keep learning. Or, you can remain a noob and shoot photos for fun and interest

Sharing a daily life lesson, tip, or hack; the things that make life easier, happier, and more productive. I hope you’ll follow along and find them helpful too.

#262

A Day of Photography.

In her book Big Magic, author Elizabeth Gilbert posits that we all have at least ‘some’ creative energy that is often untapped. Photography is a great way to begin unpacking artistic instinct.  So, grab a camera – whether it’s your phone or a 35mm that’s been collecting dust – and go outdoors.

Take a walk or a drive but with your artistic eye. Go out with the intent to capture color and/or light versus people or things. Part of what makes what we look at interesting and beautiful is the way that it appears in light; distinguishing colors and textures. Change your typical perspective by sitting on the ground or getting up high. As you move through your environment, look past the usual and seek to see more detail. When you notice it… capture it from as many angles as you can.

Try changing the frame of a photo. Capture an object through the branches of a tree or blades of grass. Seek a variety of visual interests as you move an object from the left of your shot to the right…

The digital element of photography these days means we can shoot as many images as we want without regard to expense. It’s another gift of technology. By taking the time to examine a scene or an object through the lens of a camera and with attention to shadows at a variety of angles, you may see the same things looking immensely different.

Don’t worry about knowing what to do … use your instinct at first and if you find that you have ignited a talent and/or an interest, you can keep learning. Or, you can remain a noob and shoot photos for fun and interest.

Warning: there is a rabbit hole here… once you capture a few images and upload them onto your computer there is a whole world of photo editing that may seize your curiosity and imagination. Play and have fun. This is an opportunity for you to be creative, get outdoors, be present, move your body, and experience your world in a new way. So many benefits from a simple …

Day of Photography.

I love hearing your thoughts and ideas. Please share in the comments below.

Casual photo snapping is a favorite past time of mine… here are a few of my favs: