Have you ever done something over and over again even though it wasn’t good for you? I know I have.
I’m not talking alcohol, drugs, gambling or sex.
I’m talking about my relationship to computer games. I didn’t do them all day, but I could waste 15 – 30 minutes every day on them (sometimes twice a day) and that adds up. Every computer has games installed on it. My favorite was Spider Solitaire. Eventually I took that off my machine, then started playing Hearts – I don’t even like Hearts! I didn’t pay attention to the score. I just kept mindlessly dealing.
Then I faced the hard truth and took them all off. The games were stopping me from getting other things done.
Do you have something like that in your life? Facebook, Sudoku, mindless celebrity gossip columns? Does it stop you from getting other things done?
The answer is probably yes.
We find all kinds of reasons to justify mind-numbing activity:
- I just finished the proposal and there isn’t time to really get anything done before my call with a client
- I’m just keeping in touch with my friends
- My brain needs a break, something that’s a relief from the stress, concentration, boredom.
We tell ourselves, it gives us a chance to relax, take a break, restore ourselves.
My wise coach Cindy (yes I do have one) suggested I be curious about when I was playing the game.
What I discovered was, I used the games:
- During transitions from one big task to another
- When I felt anxious, confused, or overwhelmed
- When I wasn’t sure what to do next
- When I knew what to do but didn’t want to do it
In order to reconnect to myself, I reminded myself what was important to me. I reconnected to my passion in life, my drive, my commitment to make things happen.
And then I made a list of small, easy, even mindless things I could do in 15 to 30 minutes that would soothe me AND move me forward:
- Do a stretching exercise or a yoga pose or two
- Read an article or a chapter in a business book
- Turn on some music and sort a stack of papers on my desk
- Write a hand-written note to a client or colleague
- Drink water
- Walk around the block
- New blog topics
- Potential allies for upcoming projects
- A list of books to read in the next month
- The people I’ve been meaning to see/call – then put dates on my calendar for when I’ll contact them
- Volunteer projects and causes I’d like to support
- My Christmas list
I’d love to hear from you!!
- What are YOUR time wasters?
- Under what circumstances do you “use” them?
- What are some of the goals or outcomes you want to achieve (professionally or personally?)
- Why are these outcomes important to you?
- What are all YOUR small things you can do to positively move your forward?
As you do this exercise, I’ll be doing it right along with you. Why? I just discovered Ancient Jewels – an online game. Looks like it’s time to “eat my own dog food.”
Can’t wait to hear from you. Until next Tuesday.