It’s easy to look around and say I feel overwhelmed or I don’t have time. We’re constantly bombarded with distraction and other people’s priorities.
However, the vast majority of this stress and distraction we bring on ourselves because we seek out things that aren’t really productive and aren’t really relaxing. We are caught in this middle ground of mildly annoying or mildly entertaining, but never fulfilling.
In the last 24 hours how many of these activities have you done. Write down the corresponding number for each one you’ve participated in.
1. Checked social media before getting out of bed.
2. Spent an hour outside in the sun.
3. Watched television.
4. Made something with your hands.
5. Looked at your phone while eating.
6. Learned a new skill.
7. Checked social media before going to sleep.
8. Ate dinner with multiple friends.
9. Checked email before 9 AM.
10. Did something for someone else (for free).
11. Checked email after 4 PM.
13. Spent several hours looking at things within 3 feet of your face.
14. Played a sport or game (not on a computer).
15. Spent an hour in traffic.
16. Spent several hours looking at things greater than 100 feet from your face.
17. Watched the news.
18. Read a paper book.
19. Argued on the internet.
20. Painted or created artwork (photoshop doesn’t count).
21. Spent several hours sitting down.
22. Went on a trip…for fun.
23. Watched tv in bed.
24. Worked on paper.
25. Tried to please someone whom you don’t want to work for or with.
26. Walked for more than ½ hour.
27. Woke up to an alarm.
28. Played a musical instrument.
29. Tried to knock out a to-do list with more than 3 large items.
30. Worked on something you feel is really important.
Now tally up how many even numbers and how many odd numbers you had. You probably noticed a pattern. Even numbers are things that help you focus and relax. Odd numbers are things that create stress and distract us from what matters.
How do you feel about your numbers? Which of these activities would you like to do more of? How might you start doing that?
These items aren’t a definitive list of things you must do or must not do, rather they are designed to get you to think about what it is you want to be doing with your time.