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To-do lists, deadlines and priorities

From: HypnoBlog,

21
July
2011
To-do lists, deadlines and priorities

When I was studying to be a hypnotherapist one of my teachers described the key to good mental health as ʻflexibilityʼ. And over time Iʼve come to see quite how true this statement is.

On one hand itʼs important to keep an eye on our goals, our dreams and fulfilling our lifeʼs purpose yet we also have to live in the moment and deal with things as they come up. Itʼs certainly true that many of these ʻcurve ballsʼ will challenge and/or delay the fulfillment of our goals, dreams and desires.

For me this week was a classic example. I had a to-do list almost as large as the Greek debt crisis and a unmoveable deadline - school holidays start 3.30 on Friday. The curve ball: my son was ill with croup, so a sleepless night on Monday was followed by having a very, very poorly little boy at home for the next couple of days. All of my clients had to be rescheduled and my to-do list is still to do.

It occurred to me that this sort of thing happens all the time. Life really does have a tendency to get in the way of our plans and while itʼs annoying, it is just life and has to be dealt with. In this context my teacher was absolutely right about being flexible, because if you arenʼt flexible when life throws these curve balls at you it leads to much disappointment and unhappiness.

And flexibility isnʼt just important when dealing with curve balls. Itʼs also pretty critical when you get an opportunity. If you are rigidly following a plan you wonʼt be able to take chances when they turn up in your life. Now thatʼs not to say a plan isnʼt useful, itʼs just that sometimes more exciting things come up and itʼs good to take full advantage of them. And these kind of exciting opportunities can happen in both a work and personal context; therefore itʼs interesting to consider that part of any plan could include a way to deal with opportunities when they arise.

Of course itʼs all about priorities. You donʼt want to take so many detours on lifeʼs highway that you never get to your destination; unless perhaps your life story is about just enjoying the scenery. What are your priorities? Only you can tell. All Iʼd say is that itʼs good to check in with yourself every now and again to confirm your priorities and remind yourself of whatʼs really important to you. You might regularly ask yourself ʻhow truly important is this to me?ʼ so that you donʼt get sucked in to spending time and energy doing things youʼd rather not. And then again sometimes we need a curve ball to remind us of what our true priorities are.

For me this week it was all about the needs of a four year old boy: cuddles, stories, TV, homemade biscuits. The to-do list is going to have to wait until September.

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