Stop Talking About What You Need to Do

I normally love the holidays but personal circumstances left me feeling a little low this past season. I found myself getting irritated a lot more easily with the people around me and the tasks I had at hand. Like many people, I was feeling overwhelmed and stressed out until I realized, there was nothing left to do. I was all set for Christmas. The stress that I was feeling was coming from other people and I was taking it on as if it were my own.

In fact, when I think back to the month of December, every time I felt frustrated or panicky was when I was talking to my friends and family about all of the things that were on our to-do lists.

I love my friends and family, obviously, and I love helping them out but I realized that talking about all of the stuff that needed to get done wasn’t actually helping anyone out at all. Not only was I subconsciously taking on other people’s tasks as my own, but we weren’t even doing any of the things that we said we were going to do. We were just talking about it.

And sure, it feels good to talk things out and get a clear picture in your head of what needs to be done. Or maybe you find it helpful to get another opinion about your plan of attack. But the more we talked about what needed to be done, the more we talked about it, and the more we put it off. Strategies were formed, dissolved and discussed over and over again. It felt like we were being productive and we weren’t. We were wasting precious time and it was making us even more stressed out.

Even though I don’t make New Year’s resolutions (at least, ones that stick), this year I’m enforcing a new rule on my life: do the s#&! you say you’re going to do. Don’t talk about it; just do it. (Nike has been saying it for years, so it must be true, right?)

I mean, we can still talk. It’s good to check in with friends and family, or to ask for help, even if it’s just organizing your thoughts. But let’s multi-task, shall we? The more we get done, the less we’ll have to discuss, and then just maybe we can talk about something fun- or we could just brag about how 2019 is going to be the best year ever!

What are some of the things that you’ve been talking about forever that just never seem to get done? This is the year we’re going to do it! Tell us all about your plans below or email me at keepingbusyb@gmail.com and let me know how it’s going.

I’m always looking for the best ways to manage my time and workflow more effectively and efficiently. If you’re looking for more ways to increase your productivity as well, click here for more strategies that I’ve developed and researched and here for more ways to stay organized. For more ways to deal with your busy lifestyle, click here.

10 Things to Do on a Snowy Evening

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  1. Give your boots some love. Good maintenance is key in extending the life of your expensive footwear. Shower some extra attention on your boots every once in awhile by wiping them free of snow and salt residue and cleaning with a leather cleaner and/or a spray protector. Store boots in a well-ventilated area with low foot traffic and wait 24 hours before wearing again. (For more tips on this process, click here.)
  2. Start a scrapbook. A creative project that organizes your memorabilia can be both productive and fun and it’s a great way to store your memories in a way that they’re accessible and can be treasured more often. Not into scrapbooking? Create a shadow box, organize a photo album, or create a book online instead.
  3. Dream of summer and plan your garden. Just like a hairdresser needs to plan out a cut before he or she even picks up the scissors, those of us who are fortunate to have green spaces must do advance planning in order to enjoy them. Determine what needs to be done and what improvements you’d like to make to your yard or garden and plan accordingly. Do your research and plan a budget to avoid any unexpected expenses.
  4. Make a Someday/Maybe list. I think wintertime is the perfect time to sit indoors and daydream, don’t you? Take an evening, grab a journal, pour yourself a glass of wine and make your list- books to read, movies to see, music to listen to, restaurants to try, countries to visit, certifications to be earned. The possibilities are endless.
  5. Put together a Command Central binder. If you haven’t done so already, you must. The start of a new year is a perfect excuse to get your organizing system under control and I think there’s no better way to manage it than by using one of these. (I explain how to put one together here.)
  6. Have you done a Yearly Review yet? It’s not too late. Figure out how to do one here and get a firm grasp of what you really want for the year up ahead.
  7. Get your shine on. After all of the glitz and glamour of those holiday parties it’s a good idea to clean and store jewelry pieces carefully for the next round of special occasions. Put on a great playlist, grab your tools and give those goods some elbow grease!
  8. Thank the ones you love. I still believe in the power of a well-written thank you note. It’s a great way to keep in touch and shows people your appreciation and care. Didn’t send out Christmas cards? Sending out non-denominational New Years cards also seems to have become a thing. There’s no reason not to correspond now!
  9. Organize those tax receipts now. Don’t wait until the weather is nicer and you actually want to go outside. Use this period of hibernation as a productive way to get things done!
  10. Pick a drawer, any drawer. That’s it. Dump it, clean it, organize it and make a vow to yourself that you will never, ever let it get disorganized again (or at the very least for another year, until you have another snowy evening on which to organize it again).

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I’ve shared with you some of the ways that I spend my snowy evenings- now I’m interested in hearing how you spend yours! Drop me a line at keepingbusyb@gmail.com or contribute by commenting below. Are you looking for other productive boredom busters? I’ve got plenty of thoughts on organizing here. Looking for something a little more creative? When I’m not busying myself with some project or another I’m reading or whipping up something in the kitchen. Read all about it here and here.