Opinion, by Pia Granjon Lecerf
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – Moving season in the expatriate world with so many things to think about. Feeling being behind schedule? Except if we chose to do something about it, we can easily think: “If only I didn’t have this or that to do, I would have so much more time!” Ermmm maybe yes, maybe not. I do not believe one second in the ‘maybe yes’.
We cannot extend the number of hours we have per day to be active and this is our luck ! Otherwise I can predict you that some of us would have 72 hours in a day … and would still need more.
L’Abbé Pierre (late French priest who created a social movement to fight for accommodation rights in France) and the Dalai Lama are people who have / had chosen to have about 4 hours of prayers / meditation per day. They both said that this, instead of being a waste of time, was their only way to be able to keep up with all they have / had to do : interviews, writing books, writing articles, being politically involved …
Doing so, they automatically slowed down the speed of their thoughts and as such the rhythm of their body as well; they could have a better perception on what had to be done now and what could wait;
Because it is everything but about controlling our time. It is about making voluntary and realistic choices instead of undergoing them; having a feeling of satisfaction after an accomplishment.
And the best news is this is possible ! As always, the very first step is about recognizing where we are and decide on a few actions and choices. For making choices, we first need to know the way we are organized at this moment of your life to be able to choose if / what we want to modify.
For one week, spend time to list everything you do and, if ever you have a repetitive activity, the time you spend on it. That gives you an idea of what you have really done, instead of having only a subjective perception as we can be very good at not willing to admit certain things; you may be surprised by what you can discover about your very personal organization;
Leave that list aside, let it decant ;o)
Now, have a new beautiful page, paper, word doc, paint … and write down / draw / ppt … from your ‘to do list’. Write down ‘only’ 3 points to begin with. When those are done, you can have another three.
If you have a list of 50 things to do, clearly, you won’t do them all, and you know it …. What’s the point ? You are mixing what is important and the rest.
Now, swapping time ! You have you two lists in front of you; it is time to decide on what you want / can withdraw from the first list to insert an item from the second list.
In life, haven’t ‘you noticed that a solution, an enrichment, comes from what is different, comes from the opposite, as this is the territory of what hasn’t been explored yet …
- Have ‘nothing to do’ slots in your schedule; that is to allow you to slow down. Brain and body.
- Throw your current ‘to do list’ in the trash bin
- Recognize: list what you are currently filling your days with
- List the 3 more important things for you to achieve today
Enjoy that peaceful feeling of achievement !
Pia Granjon Lecerf