In the simplest terms, we all have two categories of things we do in life: things we like to do and things we have to do. With the thought that “have to do” is a bad thing. An annoyance. Or something that delivers little value in the doing or the result.
Of course I’d love to hear that you can wake up with a smile on your face everyday and see everything as a “like to do”. Most can’t. You have to change your view constantly to enable a positive attitude in life.
Since we are all so uniquely different, what falls on my “like to do” list may fall on your “have to do” list.
But the ideas here are about trying to get them all done. Because it feels good. And a well-kept task or objective list allows you to feel more organized while pushing big initiatives in life forward. And since I’m heading out of town (Austin) for SXSW (South by Southwest Interactive Conference) this week, I need to get a lot done before I go!
So this list of ideas is about combining a “like” with a “have” to make the “have” more pleasant. It also combines two “haves” for more efficiency and less unpleasantness.
I’ll kick it off with the combination that got the idea in my head this very morning:
1. Brush your teeth while doing sit-ups – This accomplishes two things. First, it forces me to brush as long as I should. And it associates getting exercise with a 2-3x daily task. So by brushing my teeth I am also getting in 100-150 situps. Not bad.
2. Listen to idea-stimulating podcasts while mowing the lawn – Yes, I still mow my own lawn. It’s actually pretty therapeutic despite it being a bit mundane. I get ideas for new posts and new ways to share them. If you don’t mow your lawn, maybe you can do this when you are picking up the house or taking a stroll in the park.
3. Tweet or Stumble while dinner is in the oven – We all have those little breaks in the day. Breaks that don’t allow you to do much. On my iPhone, I use those little breaks to catch up on Twitter and Stumble a few articles.
4. Clean up the e-mail in box while watching a recorded episode of American Idol – I’m trying reduce the impact of email on my life. How about you? Like #3 above, this allows me to use little bits of time (while Ryan tells me for the third time what happened last night) effectively. And opens up larger blocks of time the next day.
5. Get in a run while networking for a new job – If you are out of work and need to meet people, why not suggest a run? You can do introductions during a group stretch and get some exercise at the same time. Better than another dreary cup of coffee and it’s free. Talk about networking with a purpose!
6. Do homework with your kids and read a chapter of your favorite book – My kids work better when I’m working with them. And there are natural breaks where I’m just sitting there. Pick up one of my book suggestions: 30 great books for job search, career and life and use your time better. It includes my 30 ideas book (if you are looking for work and need a few).
7. Organize your closet or office while on a conference call or webinar – Do you really need to sit there and stare at the phone or computer? Most conference calls are not so interactive that you can’t kill two birds. So make sure you are mobile and hands-free and get the most out of the hour.
8. Wash your car and teach a life lesson – What can you teach your kids while washing the car? You can teach patience, the importance of details, a DIY mentality and that certain chores can be fun (as you spray them with the hose). Think of it as your own Karate Kid moment.
And maybe. Just maybe. By combining tasks in this way, you may actually find some time to just sit there. And do nothing.
What task combination can you suggest?
If anyone is going to SXSW in Austin or lives in the area and would like to meet-up downtown, let me know. I’ll be there from the 11th through the 15th. Have a networking event scheduled? Let me know!
Written by: Tim Tyrell-Smith
Tags: american idols | austin | combine | efficient | eight | idea book | ideas | Life | life lessons | positive attitude | task
Categories: Work-Life Balance