There is one quote in this article, “The Surprising Benefit of Being Bad at Yoga”, that really hit home with me.
“I was struggling so much that all I could focus on was the truly important stuff. And being perfect simply wasn’t important.”
When I first started working in the fast-paced sports industry, I struggled with the fact that I couldn’t do everything perfectly and quickly at the same time. You have to set priorities and boundaries, and I couldn’t do everything for everyone on their own timelines. I hated feeling like I was disappointing people, even though (in hindsight) I know I wasn’t. (At least I don’t think I was!)
Until I finally learned to focus on the “truly important stuff”.
I’m usually pretty good about that when it comes to work, but I had a revelation recently…I don’t always do that in my personal life. I’ve been thinking about the goals I have and the things I want to do in the wrong way: like it’s too much and there’s a massive block in my proverbial road. Like I’ll never get it all done.
I know that energy would be better spent A) taking care of myself and B) detailing important, actionable items that will get me where I want to be. “The truly important stuff.”
So, I started focusing on only the most-important-to-me things, and I’m using that focus as a way to make decision-making less burdensome. I’m limiting my options to give myself more time and freedom.
It’s my “decision detox”.
This realization felt like a huge sigh of relief.
I’m following the advice of one of my favorite entrepreneurs, Ramit Sethi: “delete, defer, or do it”. If it truly doesn’t matter, forget it. If it can wait, keep a “defer” list and do it later. Or just freaking do it. (Do yourself a favor and sign up for his emails, by the way.) The easier you make things, the easier life feels and the more time you have for important thoughts.
I’m starting with the tiniest little decisions.
In one email, he encouraged people to write down the most annoying things in their day and fix them so you don’t have to continuously make decisions about them. Literally, the most minuscule little things. One of his examples was getting a second phone charger instead of moving the same one from office to home. It’s not something you think hard about, but it occupies your thoughts for a second. Do I need to bring my charger? Do I have plans after work or can I make it through the day without charging my phone? Will I be using my phone on the train or just reading?
I really believe all those precious seconds add up…and sometimes stupid things like that drive me insane! Has anyone else stared at a sink full of dishes and just wanted to scream?! It’s so dumb but sometimes I’m just like, UGH ANOTHER THINGGGG AHHH I CAN’T TAKE IT ANYMORE. Now I don’t allow myself to think twice, I just do it immediately.
I’m simplifying my life.
One of my “annoyances” was the smoothie mixer cups in our kitchen cabinet. We used to store them high up where I couldn’t reach (STORY OF MY LIFE – our kitchen cabinets are so poorly designed) and I had to climb on top of the counter to get one. (Life is hard.) I finally moved them where I can actually reach and replaced the stuff I rarely use. It’s nothing ground-breaking, but I’m no longer standing there sighing in frustration. (I would literally start debating whether I REALLY wanted a smoothie or not.) No more wasted time. No more boring decisions.
I’ve set the intention to make not-so-meaningful decisions more quickly, in turn allowing me to use my energy in a more positive way.
Now that I’ve gotten some of the little things out of the way, I’m finding it easier to focus on the important things, like positive relationships, my health, and my most valued personal goals. I’m going to be good to myself. I’m going to focus on the rocks…you know, in that analogy with the rocks, pebbles and sand?
It’s a small but challenging mental switch…and I already notice a difference. Not only with decisions, but with the actual actions that were eating up small chunks of time. Setting an intention like this has enabled me to be more productive and less wasteful. I have to be more organized in life to follow through. One of my big goals right now is to be more consistent with freelance writing – and LEARN more about it – and I’m feeling much more positive about my progress compared to last month.
What decisions have you “detoxed”? What have you done/can you do to make your life easier?