I’ve been struggling to simplify and streamline my life and actions lately, and as part of that, I have been paying closer attention to not just what I am doing, but why I am doing it.
I let so many different obligations and activities into my life by either saying yes, or by not firmly saying no, and they often crowd out the things that are really important to me. Things that could make a difference to others.
I’m learning to examine each of my activities followed by the word “because” so that I can start to determine whether I’m doing things for the right reasons. Then I can begin to trim some of those activities out.
I’m doing (fill in an action) because:
- I have to/someone is making me
- It will get me further ahead/make me look good
- It’s always been done this way
- I can’t/won’t think of another way to do it
- I can’t/won’t let anyone else do it
- Someone dropped the ball
- I don’t have anything else to do
- I don’t know what else to do
- There’s no one else who can/will do it, but it is important
- I enjoy it
- It is healthy/good for me
- It’s the right thing to do
- It will make a different in someone’s life
Give it a try with just a few of the things you do regularly – I bet you’ll be as surprised as I was about the motivations behind some of those actions. If the reasons fall at the top of the list, I am resolved to make some changes.
Just an awareness of the reason I’m doing something instead of blindly doing it helps me make better choices. There are some things that are impossible to simply stop doing, but I can spend less time and energy on them and start phasing them out. That will leave time to start adding the things that are more important.