One hour a week that will make you happier
There is nothing more exhausting than a business that you can’t handle. I knew about this for a long time, but still managed to accumulate a list of small unpleasant things, the implementation of which was postponed for months (and sometimes for years!). All these are non-urgent things (that’s why they weren’t done yet), but I constantly thought about these “debts”: “I need ...”, “Find the time ...”, “Don’t forget ...” It was necessary to do something, thoughts about these little things drove me crazy.
I decided to come up with a habit that would help me in this matter. But which one? And how can one single habit help deal with unpleasant and unrelated activities? But I found a way out! I decided that I would start spending one hour a week on these matters. An hour a week is enough, but not too much.
During this hour I will deal with non-urgent and non-binding matters, which I have put off for months. I called my new habit “The Hour of Strength”.
To start, I made a list. You know, it was almost nice to add new tasks to the “Need to do” column. True, I had to be extremely picky. So, I couldn’t use Power Hour to buy plane tickets (for some reason I hate buying tickets), because such things should be ready for a certain moment, even if I don’t want to do them at all. Or the “Hour of Strength” cannot be used to pay utility bills or to call distant relatives, for this you need to develop other habits. The “Hour of Strength” is a chance to cope with one task that you think about for a long time, it is a burden, but your hands still cannot reach it. Here are some of my list:
- Make a photo album last year's summer vacation.
- Use a gift card (while it is still valid).
- Give unnecessary books to the library or hospital.
- Remove the toy kitchen, which has not been played by daughters for a long time.
- Take batteries and waste electronics to a collection point for recycling.
Gretchen Rubin - author of a book on how to be happy
There were other items on this list. For example, this one - "Destroy unnecessary papers." Once I bought a shredder (an apparatus for shredding documents into small strips or pieces - Note. Ed.), But I never used it. And you know why? I still could not force myself to read the instructions! Meanwhile, I have accumulated a pile of unnecessary letters and documents. The result: I was simultaneously disturbed by a shredder that I did not use, and papers that were piling up. But even more - the thought that I constantly put off the solution to this problem!
For myself, I decided in advance that my “Power Hour” would be Sunday morning. So, waking up, I sat on the floor, figured out how to connect the shredder, and it worked. Not bad for a start! “Eliza, want to help me?” The daughter immediately rushed: “Yes!” By the end of the hour we had a bag of shredded paper. The next day, if some papers needed to be destroyed, I immediately walked to the shredder. Victory!
Everything is relative
People often overestimate or underestimate the time they have to spend on certain activities. And the experience that I gained during the “Power Hour” clearly proved: many things take much less time than it seems. For example, finally, I wrote a “technical task” to a programmer - described what I want to change on my personal site. I put it off for months (I thought it would take a lot of time), but in reality it took a couple of minutes!
Usually I choose one thing and, if I don’t finish it in the allotted time, I will finish it next week. But writing instructions on the changes on the site took so little time that I wrote a couple more letters. Pressing the send button gave me a boost of energy! Yes, and to delete tasks from the list was nice.
What is important to you!
One friend shared: “I finally threw out all the excess from the freezer and now, it seems, I can even change my job!” I understood her very well. She did what was important to her, and from that she felt happy and determined. I also did something important for myself - the clothes from which my girls grew up were taken to the center for help to the poor. And she also felt happy.
An hour a week is not too much for such a pleasure, agree?