Don’t create a stress maker.

EmptyList2

For many, this is the first official week back to a regular schedule in 2013.

No doubt you’re already off and running to carry out that list of goals that grows by the hour. By Friday you’ll have effectively wiped out any remembrance of the down time you took over the holiday. Congratulations! This is a great time to take an assessment.

Before you trip over that list, consider proactively trimming the fat in support of excellence, energy and longevity. Focusing on a few priorities and putting your full attention and energy towards them is a sustainable skill with many rewards.  Here are three steps to help you prune your list.

  1. Feel it out: How we feel about an activity influences our future level of engagement with it. Read each item and focus on how it makes you feel. Put a star next to those items that create a “can’t wait to get to it” feeling and a minus sign next to those that feel more like punishment. While we all have obligatory activities to fulfill in our lives, when the negative feelings outweigh the good, our time is better spent elsewhere.
  2. Enlist a merciless critic: Put your list through critical review with someone in your life who knows your goals, your superhuman capabilities (of course) and the areas you where you are not so gifted  (yes, we know youre not perfect, the jig is up). I’ve been  enlisted as a “cut the crap” consultant many times by friends and colleagues looking to get real with what they can let go. Think of someone who fits the bill and enlist their help.
  3. Integrate and finish: Combine your feeling list with the “critic’s choice” list. What will stay and what will go? Identify items for removal that can’t go? Redesign the way you execute those things so they take up less of your time.

How will you know you’ve done this purging exercise right? You’ll have an insatiable urge to add “just one more small thing” to the list. DON’T! Trust me, there will be enough unexpected things that come up to continue earning you the “Super” in your title. Gift your life some breathing room for things to happen spontaneously.

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