The first part of Valuing Skills is understanding what you value. To do this, you’ll need to do one thing first; relax for a bit! Sit down for five minutes at the office, find a quiet place in your home, or even lock yourself in the bathroom for a minute. Just take deep breaths and let go of some tension. Let your mind stop spinning for a bit so you can think clearly. Once you’ve done this, organize your thoughts. Lists are helpful; you can try making a list of all the things in your life right now that you enjoy. Family? Job? Book club? Pet? What are some things in your life you could do without? Mowing the lawn? Feeling panicked? Not spending enough time with someone special? Think about a typical week. How much time do you spend working or traveling? Sleeping? Playing? Relaxing? What kind of things do you do most? Does it match with your values? If not, that probably causes you stress.
Next, pick a value to set attainable goals around. Where do you want to be in a year? One month? How are you going to make this happen? Use some planning skills strategies; try to make a specific goal for this week, and connect it with others that work towards your long-term goal. Then get started! Break down big tasks into smaller ones, and don’t be afraid to ask for help.
- Do you usually meet your goals? Why or why not?
Getting it Done
Now that you’ve calmed down and thought about what you want, it’s time to make a plan. If you don’t commit to taking your plans into action, you’ll find yourself stressing again soon. It’s tempting to try to keep all your options open, but juggling multiple tasks results in dropping all of them. Pick one! Commit to making a good change.
Next, think about Time-Use Skills. What sort of things do you do that waste time? We all have tasks we can streamline. One common time-wasting habit is jumping from task to task without finishing them first. It’s more efficient to finish one then move to another. A second time waster is accepting nothing but perfection. This isn’t to say you should accept bad work, but recognize good work when you see it. Nothing is ever perfect. Another common time waster is putting off starting because you don’t know where to begin. Easy solution for that; start with the biggest and work your way down.
Last, don’t forget Pacing! Here’s an analogy: you’re on a timed run. You have 30 minutes to run as far as you can. If you sprint at the start, you will be exhausted in 5 minutes and trudge the next 25. You won’t get very far. If you go at a good pace, you will save yourself a lot of pain, and get much farther. You can tell when a pace is right for you; you feel challenged, not overwhelmed.