#10 // Sunday's Sentiment

Never postpone anything you can do in one minute.
I read this in an article called 'simple ways to be happy' in this month's Red magazine, and have been applying it to life all this week. In my line of work, there are often ad hoc tasks that come up, and by 11am I can often have a list as long as my arm, resulting in waves of panic about how exactly I'm actually going to get through it all by the end of the day. I can often end up with four pieces of unfinished work and about nine applications open on my desktop at any given time and it's enough to confuse and overwhelm anyone. Add to this, phone calls disturbing your train of thought or people just rocking up to your desk expecting your attention and I'm surprised I don't end up rocking back and forth underneath my desk a lot of the time. 

But the little nugget above has been great to ease some of the pressure.

Some things only require a small amount of focus and time. Just putting half an hour aside to get through a few mini tasks, allows me to close a handful of screens, and tick some things off of my list.

It's amazing what being able to empty your desk of half the post-its, and delete a few emails tagged with angry red flags can for your mental clarity. Often, our to do lists are filled with every little thing we have to do. Attacking a handful of the small things, gives you the breathing space to actually concentrate on the bigger things that actually demand your brainpower.

Translating it for use at home has meant actually reading the articles that caught my eye in Tuesday's Stylist. You know, those that I promise myself I'll get to at the weekend (but invariably, never do), which then sees a ridiculous pile of freesheets climbing up my bedroom wall. I'm making the phone calls to people that I've been promising myself I would do for weeks; finding the time to paint my neglected tootsies and at least file away the recipe clippings if not actually make them (hey, no one's perfect).

What I've found is that at home, it's not about things that can be completed quickly, but more about dedicating time for the things I love and making those that mean a lot a priority.

The article, extracted from Gretchen Rubin's new book, The Happiness Project, also mentioned not feeling guilty about the things that you actively decide not to do.

Our time is precious, and there are only so many hours in the day.

Sometimes, something has to give. The constant unspoken nagging of a pile of unread newspapers, or an unobserved reminder on your phone going off for the fourth time in four days can drag you down.

If it can't be done in a minute, the next question is: is it important? Yes? Then do it. No? Dump it and dump the guilt too.

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