This is officially my last “free” weekend day before I begin my health coaching classes at Integrated Nutrition, and I am trying to make the best use of my time. But what is the best use of time?
Checking Things Off the “To-Do List”
For years I spent my vacations and long weekends doing exactly this…getting ahead. I would make a long list of things that “needed” to get done before I went back to school/work. I would organize my days around those activities and would feel super accomplished when I checked each thing off the list. If I didn’t get each thing done, however, I would feel bad. I would think of the time that I had wasted doing something not on the list, sometimes even secretly adding activities to the list and then crossing them off, just to feel like I accomplished more. (Has anyone else ever done this too, or is it just me?) In the end, I didn’t feel like I did all that I was supposed to, and I felt like I didn’t get any time to relax because I was so focused on the list.
I used to be very bad at relaxing. (Is that even possible?) But when I injured both of my knees a few years ago, I was forced to figure out how to do it. I first tried to continue getting things done on my lists, all while sitting with my knees propped up on pillows. Eventually, I ran out of things to do and had to work on just sitting and reading magazines, listening to podcasts and just soaking up the sunshine. Once I got the hang of it, I think I started to master “the art of doing nothing”. The problem then came when my legs were working just fine and I couldn’t seem to get anything accomplished any more. I was really good at relaxing, but had forgotten how to check things off my list, so to speak.
One of my favorite lessons from my introduction to IIN is that of the Big Rocks. You can watch a lesson on YouTube here, but I’ll give you the basic premise. Before getting caught up in all of the things that you have to get done, select your priorities. You could do this daily, weekly or monthly, but you want to stick with just a few things that are really the 3-6 most important things you must focus on to stay true to yourself. Maybe it’s your relationship with your family, your fitness and your career. Maybe it’s your eating habits, time for yourself and organizing your home. Whatever it is, focus on it and schedule time for it. Then let the other things fill in around those.
So for me, this last day is going to be spent on my priorities: posting to the blog (DONE), quality time with my family, time cleaning and organizing my soon-to-be office, and time for fitness. Not only will I feel like I have checked off all of my boxes on the list, but I will feel energized and recharged for my last week before “school” officially begins.