This week we’ll talk about 10 rules for a peacefully productive life and how we can apply them in our daily lives in a way that makes sense for us.
Living a peacefuly productive life is something we all want - and need!
Recently, I saw several YouTubers publishing videos about their 10 or 12 Rules for Life. I didn’t actually watch them yet, but they got me thinking about what would be my personal rules for a productive life--and specifically a peacefully productive life. I sat down to list them, and came up with 10 rules -- maybe better thought of as guidelines -- to be productive and peaceful.
5 rules about things we do
1. Strategically employ the 2-minute rule - if something can be done in 2 minutes or less, just do it.
Some examples: put the dishes in the dishwasher right after you eat; put the clothes in the hamper when you take them off; file (or shred) that document after you’re done with it; open the mail over the recycle bin and toss things right then.
The 2-minute rule was coined by David Allen in Getting Things Done. As one writer notes,
“By simply recognizing that we can get the task done quickly if only we take action, we stop planning to do the task, dreading doing the task, and ruminating about the task. I refer to this as training our brain to a “bias for action.”
This rule needs to be applied wisely, though--during “processing” time, not as interruptions to what you should be doing now.
2. Don’t leave the room empty-handed.
When you’re going from one room to another, take a second to scan for anything that belongs where you’re going. This is efficient. It saves the time and energy of making special trips to put things away and keeps space tidier.
3. No is a complete sentence.
One major enemy of both peace and productivity is taking on too much--too many commitments, too many activities. Sometimes we overload ourselves with things we want to do; sometimes it’s FOMO; sometimes it’s because we don’t know how to say no--to others or to ourselves. When we give reasons for our no, they can be overcome by the other person.
Episode 8 of The Productive Woman discussed ways to say no gracefully;
“A ‘No’ uttered from the deepest conviction is better than a ‘Yes’ merely uttered to please, or worse, to avoid trouble.” ~ Gandhi
4, Create and protect white space.
Creating white space makes life more peaceful and more productive as it reduces stress, frustration, and workload. The concept applies to both time and space
* In the calendar - avoid scheduling things back to back; leave space between appointments, etc. - gives you a break to breathe, to process what you just did, to prepare for what comes next; also leaves a cushion for when things go wrong (traffic; can’t find a parking place; tech doesn’t work; kid needs you; meeting runs long)
* In your home - don’t fill up every cupboard, drawer, closet, wall
* Keep a charity box in the garage or in your closet and always be looking for things to put into it
* Some follow a practice of when they bring in something new, purge two (books, clothing items, decor, kitchen tools, etc.)
* I have a goal to see empty space in my cupboards, drawers, closets, etc. Don’t always achieve it, because I like to get new things, but that’s what I’m working toward
5. Good enough is good enough.