In our previous recording we covered meditation and reducing stress to increase focus. But once our focus is increased, how do we best guide it in alignment with our Life Purpose? Scientific studies estimate that in a single day a person has about 70,000 different thought processes. With so many random thoughts running through our mind, how do we bring it back to what's important? Write it down.
As discussed previously, we live in an era of intentional distractions. Commercial entities with actual intended purpose of stealing our attention and focus. From apps, to games, to social media, stealing our time is what fills their bank account.
Capitalism isn't inherently bad, but Capitalism also isn't inherently good. We may cover the topic of Capitalism in a future recording, though it's a problem that boils down to this, Capitalism in absence of morality feeds into hedonism.
Now bringing our focus back to the topic of today, writing it down. We have a very simple, but very important message for today, that we must make a habit of writing down that which we need to do. A todo list. If you already have a habit of writing things down, then this recording may not be for you. But if you don't, then you should begin today.
Writing down tasks reduces anxiety and chaos in life by giving us a structure to follow. When we write a task down, it sticks into our memory more than it would otherwise, and it's actually a first step toward accomplishing the task. Writing things down also gives us accomplishment by having proof of what we have achieved over the past week and month.
If you've never kept any form of list, it may seem too simple. You may think, but I've done just fine without writing things down up until now. But once you get into the habit of it, you will realize the incredible value of writing things down. It effectively becomes an extension of the brain, allowing us to remember and think about things that otherwise would have slipped our mind.
The reason we have to write things down is simply because we all lose track of what we should be doing on a regular basis. You can be certain every successful person in history has kept a list of written list things they need to do. And no one is immune from forgetfulness and distractions.
Writing it down doesn't have to be pencil and paper, but whatever works best for you. However you write it down, it should be kept with you nearly all the time, and you should look at it everyday, and use it everyday.
If you don't know what to write down at first, then write down the most simple things. Perhaps you promised to call a friend, or perhaps you need to schedule a repair for something in your home, or even just going to visit your mother/father. Do you have any small goals you'd like to accomplish in the coming weeks? All that's needed is just to start the habit of writing things down.
Begin a Todo list. Having a list allows us to complete large tasks that otherwise would seem too foreboding. There will come times when something we've written down seems too large or daunting. We have a tendency to put off and delay things like this. We may put off things like doing a term paper, or reading a book, or fixing something broken.
If we've written down a task or goal that seems too large, then we can be paralyzed or stressed by it, and instead of beginning on it, we end up doing nothing. But there is a trick to help get us in the right track. It's commonly referred to as "chunking".
Chunking is splitting a task into smaller mini-tasks. A simple mini-task will get us over the hump of doing nothing, and get us started on a small chunk of the task. When we have a small amount of a task started, it builds positive momentum towards continuing and completing that task.
But on occasion we may find ourselves even delaying small task chunks, and when that happens, then we just need to break the task into even smaller chunks.
For example, let's imagine we wrote down that we want to read a book. We wrote, read the book XYZ on our Todo list. A week goes by, and we've completed several other tasks, but we've been putting off reading the book. More days goes by, and we haven't even opened the book. It's time to start chunking. We put this on our Todo list, read just one chapter of the book.
If more days goes by and we are still delaying and haven't began to read the book, then we need to chunk it down smaller. Write down, just Read the first paragraph of the book. And keep the book somewhere out and easy to access, somewhere we will regularly see it. Don't hide it away, or in a drawer. The easier we make the task, the more likely we are to complete it.
Through chunking, we can break tasks down into mini-tasks that aren't scary, and can be easily accomplished, which puts us in a better mindset, and allow us to tear down a big wall, one brick at a time.
After we've been successfully keeping and writing new things in our Todo list for a while, then we may also upgrade our list with priorities. For example, repairing a leak in the house might be more important than getting new shoes.
A simple way to begin prioritizing our list is through just adding a little plus or minus to the front of our tasks. A plus meaning high priority. A minus meaning low priority. If we put no mark, then that would mean mid priority. So we may put a plus mark in front of the task saying repair the leak to indicate high priority.
Now when we look at our Todo list, we can quickly scan it and see the important things that need our attention the most, and work on getting them done first.
20% of the things we do in life results in 80% of the value we create. The tasks we mark with a minus are low priority, and if we never get around doing some of the tasks we marked with a minus on our list, then it won't make a significant difference in our life. What matters most is that we get those high priority tasks completed.
To conclude, the habit of writing things down is extremely simple, but extremely helpful and necessary for staying guided in life. Having ordered items written down brings structure and direction to a state of chaos. By regularly completing the things we need to do in life, it relieves stress, brings accomplishment, and improves our overall mental health. We become more responsible individuals, and a role model for others.
Let us prosper and stay guided with our Purpose in life.
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