Last week I sat down to write out desires for 2017. Half-way through I wanted to take a picture to remember how cozy my apartment was at this precise moment. I whipped out my phone:
Seen this beauty before?
Just seeing it boils my blood. The last three months it’s all I’ve seen every time I’ve tried to take a photo. No matter how many texts and apps and pics I delete, nothing makes a difference.
It finally dawned on me. Why was I angry!? Ridiculous that something as small as not taking a photo made me feel stuck and frustrated, right? Wrong. I’m a storyteller; I take photos and write posts and shoot videos and speak for the very chance to tell stories to others. I do it for a living. It’s a good day when I get to tell stories. If I take photos, it’s because I’m inspired to create and want to express it, usually through a story. This is how I enjoy my life. If I couldn’t do it, I’d be far less fulfilled. Really.
So when one of my primary creation tools isn’t working, the wind is knocked out of my sails. You should hear how I sighs when I see this alert! This promo ad describes it perfectly. The final straw was when I sat down last week with fresh ideas, went to take a photo, BAM! the raggedy alert popped up!
I may have a huge list of desires for 2017, but none of it matters because directly in front of it is another more huge, more powerful (more annoying) list:
- Get iPhone fixed with enough storage for YEARS.
- Clean up Mac desktop and backup everything onto hard drive.
- Learn difference btw Time Machine & Backblaze. We run both. WHY.
- Compare quality & cost of Dr. W & Dr. S. Pick one. Make apptmt.
- Sign up for Final Cut class at Apple store or online.
- Did health insurance randomly stop? Find out. If so, go ape-shit.
- Write cards to women who attended FTT retreat.
- Text cousins. Schedule holiday-day for kids & fun night for adults.
- Make eyebrow and waxing appointment.
- Email Seth back and text MPD.
- Unsubscribe from large volume of holiday garbage in my email.
- Schedule time to finally watch the trainings I signed up for weeks ago.
You feel me? There’s a lot more here too that I didn’t even write.
This is what’s constantly running in the back of my mind like white noise. It 100% gets in the way because my brain’s half on it, half not.
It’s this moment, when something looms over you but you don’t devote ACTUAL attention to it, it sucks energy.
All your beautiful dreams, waylaid into the abyss of “stuff” you have to do.
But this is MY life; it’s YOUR LIFE. It must be dealt with in addition to career and creativity and serving the world. It’s real! If these aren’t attended to, they become even more important because they suck up so much energy just sitting there.
There’s power and freedom behind the mountain. I know it because once or twice a month I put a “Loose Ends” day into my calendar where I zap the list to zero and then WALK ON AIR the rest of the week. The moment before I feel small and frustrated (and cuss loudly at technology) and the moment after I WALK ON AIR. It is GENIUS.
Stop thinking you procrastinate or aren’t creative enough. It’s not YOU. You just have a mountain of stuff weighing you down each time you try to take a step forward.
LOOSE ENDS CHALLENGE
This week, let’s tie up our loose ends together. From 10am-2pm ET on Thursday, December 8th, I’m holding a live, real-time Loose Ends Challenge where all we do is knock off your to-do list one task at a time. The goal: Quick, do-able actions. Include the hard stuff like unfinished projects, apologies you need to make, favors you owe, appointments to schedule, technology to fix, emails to send. Whatever. It all goes on the list.
Consider the longer you’ve put it off, the more it needs to be on the list; it weighs on you without you realizing it.
This WORKS. Once you get going, you won’t want to stop when you taste freedom and pride in 4 hours. These constraints will help us succeed:
- Limited time: 4 hours only.
After 4 hours, you’re done. Our goal is rapid fire action to make real use of four hours. Go as fast as possible and take unreasonable action. There’s huge incentive to finish and speed creates forward motion.
- Action over thought.
Your list will be created before the challenge begins. When we start all you do is GO. Just act, no hesitating or thinking. Shoot for done, not perfect. Long tasks should be broken down into 1-2 key steps.
- Group = You’re not the only lunatic in the room.
Doing it as a group means you’re supported while doing the hard stuff. You’re not the only person who doesn’t have their shit together, and knowing this helps when you encounter a task you really dread – Hello anything technology related!
- Public posting.
You’ll post your list publicly on a Google doc HERE using the instructions below. You can’t slink away without taking action because we’ll SEE what you’re up to. When you do cross stuff off, it’ll also motivate us, so you better take action – mama needs her phone fixed!
Once you get going, you won’t want to stop. Trust me. Once I’ve finished stuff I’ve put off for months, the surge of energy, confidence, and power is undeniable. And contagious! The trifecta of rapid action, public posting, and the momentum of being in a group will help us go into December with energy, not with things lingering over our heads.
INSTRUCTIONS FOR HOW TO JOIN:
1. Everyone who participates will complete tasks together in real time.
2. Write down all the tasks you need to get done. By Wednesday night 10pm ET, post your list on the google doc. Don’t leave this to last minute Thursday morning before we begin – you will be stressed out doing it that way. Actually take the time now to think about every task that’s weighing you down.
3. Post your list HERE – whatever you have – so we can hold you accountable. Add your list under mine and Michele’s in the Google doc.
4. Be sure to include:
a. Your Name
b. Where you live
c. Your list
d. A horizontal live after your entry to create your own section
5. As you complete each task, cross it off directly in the doc.
6. That’s it.
I’m curious to see how many people actually do it, because I know there’s thousands who have a list of stuff like mine. I NEED to do and now that there’s a designated time for it, I already feel lighter.
If you want to join, please do. And share this with anyone you know who’s stressing out under a mountain of “stuff.” Tell them to meet you here on Thursday to knock stuff out once and for all. I’m SO excited to do it and even more so to see you there.
Till then list-makers!