I have been blessed for the past ten years with an executive coach who has also become a very good friend. Mary Duwe lives in Wisconsin and we talk on the phone weekly to discuss a myriad of topics relating to my work, my goals and my personal development.
Occasionally, a topic will come up that does not seem particularly earth-shattering at the time but turns into a significant shift in the way I view life.
One such conversation began quite innocently with me pouting about the condition of my desk and office.
"My work space is a dump," I whined. "There is crap all over the place and I don’t know where to begin. It’s putting me in a bad mood."
Mary laughed and said, "You don’t have a problem. Just begin working on one pile at a time for fifteen minutes at a time. You will be amazed at how soon it will be effortlessly cleaned up and how that will affect you in a positive manner."
Then she added, "First you change your environment and then your environment changes you!"
That turned into a lengthy discussion which has helped me many times ever since.
As a result, now when my desk, car, yard, computer, workload or anything else gets too messy—a red light comes on in my mind. It’s time to stop and start putting things in order.
I have learned to take her advice on this matter and literally arrange to work on one pile for a short specified period of time and then quit. Instead of feeling that it’s an overwhelming mountain to climb, it becomes a small hill that’s not so formidable. When that fifteen-minute time is up, I quit without guilt and immediately schedule myself to attack the next pile soon thereafter.
What ‘piles’ do you have in your professional or personal life? What project is overwhelming you? In what area have you been procrastinating?
My recommendation is that you follow Mary’s advice and attack them with vigor—one pile at a time for fifteen minutes at a time!
Bill Sheridan Sheridan Writes—see my bio under Guest Authors
Sheridan Writes—see my bio under Guest Authors
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