We live in a time and age filed with distractions. We are bombarded by media at all hours of the day and night. It’s easy to lose track of what’s important and what we should be doing.
One way we cope with this information overload is by focusing on the “what”. What do we need to do today? There’s a reason there is such a huge market for planners and organizers. There’s a reason why so many of us work with daily to-do lists. It helps us sort through the mess and pick out a handful of things we need to get done today.
In other words, these organizers and lists are a way for us to cope with the overwhelm of too much information and too many things we could be doing. They help us simplify a complex life.
While these tools are certainly necessary and helpful, they also hold a hidden danger. They make us focus too much on the “what” at the risk of losing track of the “why”. Here’s what I mean. It’s hard to see the big picture and make sure you are following your purpose when you’re staring at your list of things to do.
But there’s an easy way to fix that while still being able to use all those tools to kick overwhelm to the curb. Here’s what you do. Set aside a little time each month, or even each week, to reflect and look at the big picture. If you need it, put it on your calendar to make sure it gets done.
Spend that time reflecting on what you’ve gotten accomplished this past week and how it has helped you move forward in the right direction. What tasks helped you fulfill you purpose and what was just busy work? We all have things we do on a regular basis, just because that’s how we’ve always done it.
Examine those things and see if there’s maybe a better way to spend your time. Maybe there are other things you could try that might work better or align more with your big “why”.
As you look through the things you’ve gotten accomplished this past week or month, take note of what’s worthwhile and what you should do differently. Having a journal, a calendar, or those daily to-do lists can be a big help here.
Last but not least, start planning your “what” for the coming week or month. Think about what you need to do to move forward. Always keep your purpose and your end goal in mind.