Down the rabbit hole...
In Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, Alice's trip down the rabbit hole was full of colorful creatures, surreal experiences and bizarre characters. And then she wakes up.
Have you ever been focused on a task or project, and suddenly, you realize not only are you off track, but you've forgotten where you were and what your intention was? I know I have, (and I'm betting you've been there too.) And then I wake up. Actually, my brain wakes up and says, "how did that happen?"
Have you ever confused activity with productivity? (the image in my head right now is the hamster on a wheel, running out of control.) Remember the Queen-of-Hearts saying to Alice: “My dear, here we must run as fast as we can, just to stay in place. And if you wish to go anywhere you must run twice as fast as that.” Well...thank goodness that's not true.
What does the rabbit hole look like for you?
- Obsessively checking email?
- Saying YES to almost every request and opportunity?
- Spending more time juggling too many tasks than you spend planning your day or your week?
- Not having clear picture of your WHY, WHAT and HOW?
No matter how ZEN you are, unless you follow a few best practices, you're likely to end up like Alice.
Here are a few of my favorite practices:
Get out of my normal environment.
I love working at one of the local libraries (in fact, I'm sitting in a library study room right now). If I was at home, there would be the temptation of starting laundry, or picking up a book, or FINALLY deciding to clean out the junk drawer in the kitchen. The list can go on and on. Instead, I have almost no distractions. If you were a fly on the wall you'd see my computer, water bottle, project notebook and monaplanner©. That. Is. It.
Plan out my day.
I always have a plan. (Whether I stick to it or not is a different post.) Having a plan greatly reduces the chances of me getting side tracked. I LOVE the feeling of crossing things off “MY DAILY TO-DOS” in my monaplanner. Whether you use a planner, big chief tablet or post-it notes, start making a list so you can cross things off when you’re done.
Yes, I have my cell phone with me, BUT, the ringer is off, and I never receive an alert when I receive an email. Take a minute right now and turn off your alerts, alarms and bells and whistles. Yeah, you might go through a bit of withdraw, but the long term benefits are huge. Just start with one thing. If your email dings every time you have a new email, turn off the dang alarm.
This is something fairly new to me. There is tons of research showing that our brain LOVES to celebrate our accomplishments. So go ahead and release some of those endorphins. Take out a piece of paper, yes, REAL paper, not your computer, tablet or smartphone. Make a BIG header that says “Last Week’s Accomplishments”. Next, think through your past week and write down what you’ve accomplished. Aim for at least 10. I have faith that you can do this!
These 4 simple, easy and implementable best practices can reduce the chance of you falling down the Rabbit Hole. You’re Welcome.