I want to help you not just survive, but THRIVE in these crazy times. I’m sending you this daily dose of inspiration, because if we set our compass right, we can sail through this!
“I think I can, I think I can, I think I can” – The little engine that could.
Tip # 36: Tie Up Loose Ends
Declutter your mind by tying up loose ends, getting things up to date and clearing any backlog of admin. This might be putting aside a day to smash through things, or deciding to make use of any small pockets of time you find to just chip away at it.
If you decide to set aside a day for getting your ‘ducks in a row’, start by making a list, then work through it. This way you don’t get distracted by bigger tasks or lose focus. Take a moment to celebrate each thing you tick off, to fuel the feeling of momentum – it will boost your happy brain chemistry and drive you onwards! Include a mix of ‘sit down’ jobs (like adding receipts into your budget and replying to emails) and active jobs (like putting away all the piles of things that have accumulated on your bench top, or phoning people back). By mixing it up you can maintain focus and energy longer.
Using small pockets of time is also very effective – It is amazing how much you can get done while you wait for the kettle to boil or the phone to ring. It can be a great strategy to tie up a small ’loose end’ in between tasks that require a deep focus and complex thinking. When we shift focus from one thing to another, there is an overlap of focus. Putting a simple task between more complex ones can productively use the time where our focus fades between the two. This transition moment is often the time we are tempted to go to the biscuit tin or check social media etc, so you can make a habit of going to your list of things that need wrapping up, as small ‘brain breaks’ during the day.
The reason I suggest wrapping up loose ends in an uncertain time, is that it makes us more nimble in any pivot or swerve we might need to make – it makes adapting easier. When we are up to date we see things more clearly and are ready to be flexible. It’s like having your bags packed and ready so that you can head off to a new destination at a moment’s notice.
Flow, by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi
In this new edition of his groundbreaking classic work, Csikszentmihalyi (“the leading researcher into ‘flow states'” –Newsweek) demonstrates the ways this positive state can be controlled, not just left to chance. Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience teaches how, by ordering the information that enters our consciousness, we can discover true happiness, unlock our potential, and greatly improve the quality of our lives.