So, confession time….I have many flaws. A whole bunch of them actually. However, I’m old enough to know that everyone does. Just think of those annoying little habits that hold you back ever so slightly (like constantly running late for the bus or forgetting a pin code and so on), and perhaps make people around you a little frustrated from time to time. I don’t think I have any serious ones – at least no one ever told me – but there are some in particular that I want to work on, since I feel that they hold me back. I’m not talking about not properly putting the cork back on the bottle of olive oil (although that annoys my dear E) – that doesn’t really affect my life so much. The first one I definitely need and want to work on is being a time optimist. There are many things that relate to this – perhaps even create it.
- Firstly – I don’t like to say no. If anyones asks me for help or if I can have this and this done in no time, I usually say “absolutely!” or “I think so, let me try!”.
- Secondly, and perhaps worse, often times I just raise my hand or create tasks myself, without anyone asking me to.
This leads to a busy schedule, performance anxiety and a feeling of letting people down. It’s also quite difficult to check all the boxes one planned for a day, which leads to a feeling of inadequacy, which leads to a wish to do compensate by doing more and better and you have a bad spiral going…
So – how to hack this problem? I have come up with two golden rules.
- Don’t say yes instantly – say you need to think about it and see how it fits in your schedule.
- Keep full track of all your to-dos and when they’re to be done – that way you’ll easily see if and when you can add another one.
Rule no 1 is difficult. It’s about practising and accepting that it doesn’t make you feel good instantly. It might actually make you feel like a bad, lazy or selfish person. But in the long run, it’s quite the opposite. For rule no 2 I have finally found a system that seems to work. I use Evernote for all my notes – that allows me to quickly search and remind myself of what’s been said. I can upload pictures of white boards, add links etc. Then I recently started using Kanbanize for all my ideas and to-dos, so I wont forget anything and I can easily see what needs to be done next. I really like that visual and lean planning tool a Kanban board is. Best of all? I can access them from anywhere. I love digital efficiency! What’s your most annoying habit? Or favorite solution to one?