A Mantra for Greater Productivity

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I’m always looking for new ways to motivate myself to get on top of everything in my life. Whether it’s more efficiently getting through email, staying on top of household chores, or getting my to-do list to zero, I am motivated by the feeling of not being bbackhind/overwhelmed. I’m going for the opposite of overwhelmed/nervous breakdown.

As I was clearing out my email on Friday for the weekend, I was about to leave five to ten in my inbox to deal with Monday morning, and then I was reminded of this phrase:

How you do anything in your life is how you do everything in your life.

I have been hearing this here and there for years (unsure of the original author), but never felt like I had enough space in my life to take the time to truly consider doing everything in my life in line with my values. I was kind of just scraping by, which isn’t exactly the picture of joy and inner peace.

Creating Order

I am somewhat obsessed with getting my life in order because I believe very strongly that it is possible. If one area of my life is running smoothly and consistent with a system that works, why not all the others?

I think most people would tell me it’s not possible, or it’s crazy or too much to bother with. I can’t accept that. While I accept that I can’t control everything and nothing is perfect, I believe that the parts of my life that are in my control have the potential to be in stellar order (leaving room for their cute imperfections, but still stellar). This is me!

Wanting everything in my life to function within streamlined systems, I considered that leaving five to ten emails in my inbox for Monday morning (when I knew they would take about 15 minutes tops to deal with), was like leaving dirty clothes on the floor, or the bed unmade, or not changing the air conditioning filter regularly. Yes, there are worse things. But I must ask: what’s so bad about better?

Procrastination vs. Conscious Choices

This thought led me to my next thought (which was the topic of a previous post):

If I don’t feel like doing this now, will I feel like doing it later?

Leaving things undone begets leaving more things undone, which can totally snowball into an out of control to-do list, overflowing email inbox, and total chaos that keeps a person up working at 11 p.m. in a messy house on a regular basis. I know; I’ve been there.

While I am not completely out of the hole of backlogged tasks that I dug myself into, I am practically almost there. Practically almost is a technical term, in case you were wondering.

When I find myself about to procrastinate on something, I stop myself, and I ask: Do I want to do everything in my life like this?

I am not saying five, ten, twenty, or more emails can’t sit in an inbox over the weekend. There are more serious offenses.

It’s all about making conscious choices. If I can spare 15 minutes to deal with it, then I might choose to. If I have other plans (even if the plan is a nap), then I might choose to wait, considering which activity matters more to me in the overall context of my personal values – both the me in the moment and the Monday morning version of me.

What do you think? Does how you do one thing reflect how you do everything? Please share your thoughts!

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