I remember another day, much more long-term. I remember sitting outside at
my grandparent’s front door, on the steps, and watching snow come down. I
remember how cool it was even though I was inside. I remember how I had a
moment of self-doubt that night that I wasn’t doing this for ME.
I remember that moment vividly. That moment when I realized that, yes, I am
being productive, and that’s all that matters. Not what my life is in general,
but what I am doing right now.
And that, in a great sense, is all that matters. Because, as I write this
now, I’m sitting on a bench in the park, on a perfect spring day, with one
little snowflake on the tip of my nose, and I know that, today is a perfect
day to be doing this.
So here, if you’ll indulge me, are a few tips for how I do it.
1. Get into the habit of always looking for the simplest, most
frugal, and most enjoyable way to do a task.
2. Always start with the most simple thing.
3. Always have faith that I can do this if I keep trying.
4. Never be afraid to do something hard–whether you’ve done it before, or
5. When you’ve accomplished a task, leave the “why” at home. The hard
stuff is over with.
6. Never, ever, put down a hard-fought project, no matter how small,
until you have to.
7. Keep a small stack of cards with your to-do list in your day to day.
Whenever you feel that your list is getting a little out of control, get into
the habit of taking out a card from this stack. Cut to the chase, no more
“but…,” no more “but you don’t need to, you already said,” no more
“but really, really, really…” Just do what you are doing.
8. Make sure that every task you put on the to-do list has
several ways to get it done. This means no more “if and only if”
9. Make sure that whatever you put on your list is realistic and fun.
10. Make sure that you aren’t overwhelmed with tasks.
11. Make sure that you are working at a pace and an intensity that is
reminiscent of your actual work.
12. Make sure you are aware of the difference between “work” and “life”.
13. Make sure that you are enjoying what you’re doing.
14. Make sure you are not doing work that is, in itself, fun.
15. Make sure you are getting some enjoyment out of it.
16. Make sure that you are not doing work just to make money.
17. Make sure you are going for something that you really want.
18. Make sure that you are having fun.
19. Make sure that you are happy.
20. Make sure that you are making yourself a priority.
21. Make sure that you are spending time on yourself and on other
22. Make sure that you are finding activities that help you in your life.
23. Make sure that you are being creative.
24. Make sure that you are not procrastinating.
25. Make sure that you are not being lazy.
This list could go on and on. These are just a few of my tips for how to do
things efficiently and effortlessly with the barest of resources. You can do
it, you really can.
There are those people with less than they need, but more than they deserve:
I have so much, I don’t know where to put it. I’m so good at making things,
I’m not good at taking care of myself.
And we are all going to pay for it one day. Eventually.
I’m not sure about you, but if it happens when I have an excuse to buy a
cool sweater, I’m ok, but if it happens when I have an excuse to buy a new car
or a new kitchen, I’ll have a good cry. I have a lot of things happening that
I know I shouldn’t be doing.
And then we are all going to get older, and you’re going to realize that you
spend too much time looking at the clock and it’s just going to be you standing
out on the sidewalk in 90 degree weather and wondering what’s taking you so
long to get home.
I am thankful that I am in a country where I can make things. This is my job
as a wife and a mother. It is my job to manage the home and the children,
the school, the church, the volunteer work, the family business, the finances,
and my personal life in balance.
I am thankful that I am in a country where I can work from home, where I am
able to leave the house in the morning or the evening, and drive to my job
and back in the same day.
It’s my job to take care of the things that are a part of my physical,
emotional and mental health. And then there are the things that are a part of
my spiritual health.
I am thankful for a country where we can all make a decent living and still
I am thankful for the work I have had the opportunity to do, and the work I
will have the opportunity to do.
I am thankful for my family. I am thankful for the friends that I have made
and the friends that I hope to make. I am thankful for the people that I have
known in my life.
I am thankful that I have good health.
I am thankful for the things in my life that I have learned. I know that I
don’t have it all figured out, but I try.
I am thankful for the people that I have met in my life. I don’t want to
forget them, and I think that I should, but this time I don’t.