Written by Laura Prather on February 06, 2015
I love it when I learn a lesson that transforms my daily life. I also love it when the lessons come from the most simple and unexpected ways. Who knew that hot tub bubbles and Whack-A-Mole would result in a huge paradigm shift for me?!
Let me explain.
During my recent vacation I had made it a point to not even think about the stresses of home and business and I successfully was able to do that. Literally. I didn’t think about anything related to Colorado, family, friends, work, errands. I was ALL IN on my vacation. I read books and relaxed. I thought a lot about God’s marvelous creation and how BIG He is! When you look over the ocean and all you can see forever is nothing but water, you realize how small land is. How small is our homes, cities, businesses. It could all be gone tomorrow. The ocean is so deep, so wide, so powerful. The world started with water. Before there was any form to our Earth, there was water. Anyway – staring at all that water was time of recalibration for me. A shifting of my thoughts.
Now move to a moment when my husband was watching the news in our cabin and the anchor was discussing something political (I don’t remember) and she used the term “Whack-A-Mole”. Hmmm. That stuck in my head and I didn’t know why so I filed that away mentally. Jump forward a few days and I’m relaxing in the therapy pool in the spa on board the ship. It’s super quiet. No one else is in the pool. I close my eyes and let my arms float on top of the water and I don’t move. I’m just there. No thoughts. Nothing. It was heaven! I’m still motionless with my arms out and I open my eyes and see the bubbles from the jets frantically bouncing around (I’m on the other side of the pool where there are no bubbles) and it hits me:
My life has just been perfectly defined visually by these bubbles. Constant interruptions and flash “needs” are demanding my time constantly and I spend my day playing Whack-A-Mole by responding to every little bubble the pops up. As a consequence there are few positive results. I get to the end of a day exhausted and frustrated from all the little stresses and interruptions but I have accomplished very little. I’m running in a little wheel like the hamster I had as a kid.
A huge sense of relief came over me because it was so simple! I can’t stop the bubbles totally but I certainly do not have to play Whack-A-Mole anymore. So, the very first thing I DIDN’T do when the ship docked was turn on my phone. In fact, it’s still on silent mode and guess what? It’s going to stay there. I thought through all the phone calls and texts I usually get and I couldn’t think of any that had ever been emergencies or where I needed to take that call or respond to that text at that moment. That ONE small thing has generated an INSANE amount of time and created a smooth flow to my day all week long. When I have a moment that I am in-between tasks I will check the phone for anything that MIGHT need my attention. If so, I deal with it quickly and then move on to the rest of my day.
Next came email. When I got home I quickly scanned for anything life shattering. There was one customer email I responded to. The rest waited. For the first 3 days I just focused on being home and grounding myself. Finally I went back to the store and took 10 minutes (yes! only 10 minutes) to quickly go through over 300 emails. In that short amount of time I responded to less than 5 emails that truly needed a response. The rest were either saved or deleted.
I have been so excited with these 2 changes as they have turned everything around for me. It is now carrying over into everything I do. I am now looking at all the demands for my attention and if it is not something that truly is going to produce positive, income-generating growth for my business I’m not doing it. I don’t care if it will only take “10 minutes” of my time. When you have requests all day long that only take a few minutes then the next thing you know your day is gone and you did absolutely nothing to grow your business – or at home – you did nothing to grow your relationships.
I’m determined to get rid of things that TAKE my time (TV is a great time waster, along with FB, or blindly surfing the internet).
People will push back because you are now affecting what they want YOU to do. I had two push-backs just yesterday. Normally I would feel bad because I’m a people pleaser, but I’ve had the perspective to know the harm that comes from working to keep other people happy. Yesterday I was grounded in my conviction of what I needed to do that would be best in the long-run for what truly mattered. I stood my ground in a respectful way and you know what? I had a marvelous day! I’ve had the most productive, yet restful week, that I think I have ever experienced. It feels great to conquer something that has caused so much stress in my life!
Now to stay focused and determined and create new habits from the lessons I have learned.
Have you ever had a huge revelation that changed the way you worked and lived your life? Are you playing the Whack-A-Mole game too? Have you had enough yet?
Here’s to a happy, productive, amazing day for you!!