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’.

Life Coach in Rio de Janeiro, Pia Granjon Lecerf.
Life Coach in Rio de Janeiro, Pia Granjon Lecerf.

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
– Swap

Enjoy that peaceful feeling of achievement !

Pia Granjon Lecerf


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