A Life Moment : Being Busy vs Getting Things Done

I’ve been busy. Bet you’ve been busy too.

The Thing with Being Busy

Being busy doesn’t always mean that I’m getting things done. Or perhaps a kinder way to look at it is that I am getting things done and there are also lots of other things that I want to do. The reality is that there are choices to be made every moment of every day in deciding what to do now, next and later.

What gets in the way

As a result I’ve spent a lot of time reflecting on what gets in the way. I’ve been trying to understand if it’s the way I’m approaching creating my to-do lists or how I prioritize my time? Is it a skill I’m lacking, and if so, what skill?

Getting curious about what’s getting in the way can help unearth where to start to make a change. Because if it’s months later, like this email to you, then clearly the current course of action or way of trying to solve the problem isn’t working.

Like that quote assigned to Einstein that says “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result.

So if the result of ‘write newsletter’ as a task on my to-do list for the past five months is that it’s taken five months to get here, then clearly something needs to change, or I’m just insane. And let’s not rule that out just yet because as Steve Jobs has been quoted from this Apple Ad from 1997 “the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, are the ones who do.” And I really do want to change the financial wellbeing of as many Change-Makers in the world as I can in my Lifetime, and believe I can. So maybe I am crazy?

Seeking Change

This week a memory surfaced on my Facebook timeline (yup – I’m still on it. You can find me here -> Mary J Fourie) that reminded me that a year ago I made a habit change to my morning routine.

I recognized that I was eating my morning oats out of a pot in order to save time, wash less dishes and a multitude of other excuses which essentially boiled down to “You’re not worth the effort to dirty a dish for your morning oats, Mary J”. What a fabulous message to be unconsciously sending myself! So I decided to change.  

How did I Change?

  • Step 1 – I identified what I wanted to change, and why.
  • Step 2 – I clarified what new habit I wanted to change to, as a replacement of the old habit.
  • Step 3 – I created a trigger to remind me about the new habit.
  • Step 4 – I started and I didn’t stop. When I needed to, I also adjusted by cycling through steps 1 to 4.
Sounds simple enough?
I identified that I wanted to eat my oats out of a bowl and that this was an important change as a way to consciously tell myself every day that I am worthy of dirtying a bowl. I then clarified that my new habit would be to dish my oats out of the pot and into a bowl. To help me I created a trigger by leaving a bowl in the cupboard next to the box of oats so that I would see it every morning when I went to make my oats. Lastly, I continued daily for a year until I now no longer need to leave a bowl in the cupboard next to the box of oats as a reminder – it’s now a habit. 

Creating Sustainable Change

The truth is that it’s not easy.
Every single morning I have this little voice in my head that goes “ugh, just eat it out of the pot”. And every single morning I pause and consciously tell that voice “No, I’m eating out of a bowl.”
It took 36 years to create the first habit. It’s been one year of the new habit so it might still take some more time for that voice in my head to disappear altogether.
Now that I’ve changed that habit it’s important to acknowledge it and celebrate it! This helps me keep motivated and remind myself that I have the skills I need to change any habit.

Healthy Money Habits

This same process can be applied to other areas of our LIFE, including our habits with money. 

  • Step 1 : Where do you have money habits that you’ve had for a long time that you know are not healthy or helpful and that you’d like to change?
  • Step 2 : What new Healthy Money Habit would you like to create?
  • Step 3 : What trigger can you create for yourself to remind yourself of this new Healthy Money Habit?
  • Step 4 : When will you start?

Speaking of creating new healthy habits, it’s now time for me to focus on the habit of writing this newsletter and communicating with you more regularly. 

What new habit will you focus on creating? 

This piece of writing first appeared in our “The Freedom Files Vol 2.2” Newsletter sent on 9th May 2022. You can find our newsletter archive here and sign up to it using the form below.

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