First things first, shout out to Deepak Chopra for introducing me to this concept.
If this is the first time you’re hearing about “shoulding”, let me explain and hopefully you can relate. I’ve been “shoulding” for an uncomfortably long time:
“I should write a blog post. I should redesign my website. I should network and build more partnerships. I should organize my business admin. I should move back to Pittsburgh and start health coaching there. I should start a morning/evening routine. I should get on a better exercise plan. I should create one new recipe per week. I should figure out a way to eat pizza once a day for 30 days without gaining weight to prove that pizza is not the enemy – unhealthy pizza is the enemy.”
Enough was enough. I realized that “shoulding” for the rest of my life would be much more exhausting than actually completing the “should” and propelling forward. I DID move to Pittsburgh, I AM writing a blog post, and you’ll hear the rest about my actions in upcoming posts.
Let’s just focus on how I stopped “SHOULDING” and how you can, too.
1 . Unplug and Sit Still.
(Note: I recently got a concussion that literally forced me into this practice for two weeks. I had no choice. I felt like I was on another planet, but it taught me a lot.)
If you are overwhelmed by tasks and demands, your natural inclination might be to power through, pound caffeine, and get it done. Sometimes admirable, often unhealthy. If you ever get to the point where your to-do list is longer than you have hours in the day, unplug to recharge:
- Set aside 10 – 20 minutes each day to have zero responsibility.
- Tuck away somewhere safe, and bring only yourself. Leave the gadgets aside. (I do this before bedtime.)
- Meditate, pray, let your mind wander, etc. Just check out.
2 . Schedule Organization.
If you’re drowning in piles of “should”, please appreciate the fact that dedicated time is required to get your “should” together. If you’ve been “shoulding” for months, you probably have various to-do lists, emails, and reminders all over the place.
- Schedule time to rake through all of your “should”. (I spent an entire Saturday morning.)
- Discard any tasks that are not valuable your overall vision. (I’ve adopted strategies from the KonMari method.)
- List all outstanding tasks.
- Assign priority to each task.
- Decide what to outsource + when to keep “in house”.
3 . Begin With Small Action.
Start with one item on your “high priority list” and take action. If you’ve gotten this far already, you’ll be hooked to the instant gratification of tackling one small item. Keep at it, and get used to it.
That’s it. That’s how I stopped “shoulding”. I changed my mindset which helped me create space and a plan.
The basic formula → Stop + Think + Plan + Do = Progress
Need support with this? Let me know.