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Productive Puttering

One of the things I focus on in my work is helping people get out of being overwhelmed and too much busyness.

All this “doing” means that we can get stuck in doing, at the expense of our peace of mind and how we feel day to day (to say nothing of how other people in our world may feel when we’re this way).

I find myself talking about this so often, I will started to send weekly tips about how to use Structures in your life to Support Flow and ease.

I am going to start off with one that is near and dear to my heart. It is so partly because it is an incredibly productive practice AND it was the first thing I discovered in my own life to avoid being in that “doing” mode all day every day.

[Structure Supports Flow]

I call it Productive Puttering because while it is super-productive, it is so without being linear, methodical or results-oriented. I am puttering and getting a ton done, and my head is clear and it’s FUN!

It doesn’t matter how it gets done, stuff is getting done and finished. But it’s getting done in a non-linear way without the pressure that having a To-Do list brings because of that need for focus.

What I do is set an alarm for an hour or two, and write a short list of only 3-5 items that will only take 5-10 minutes to complete.

Once I have the structure of the alarm and the short list of quick tasks, I give myself permission to do what I am guided to do, what pops into my head without any pressure to actually finish any one thing.

Then, I just go with whatever occurs to me: finish that email, get the mail, do the dishes, whatever it is. Every once and awhile I will pick an item from my short list and do that: make a call, figure out my travel dates for an upcoming trip, etc.

The alarm and the short task list are the structures and the flow is you get to do it any ol’ way you want to.

Try this for yourself and see for yourself just how much you can get done, and more importantly, how you feel afterwards. Clear headed, accomplished and without overwhelm, is my bet.

A couple of things to keep in mind: this is not the time to watch TV or scroll through Facebook, but rather a time for “working” in a relaxed and easy manner. This is a practice to use in addition to the more focused and linear time you spend making progress or completing a project.

I wish I could say you can do this all day every day, but it’s meant to compliment and add balance in your day and in your life.

I discovered this by accident when I noticed that sometimes when I had an uninterrupted and unscripted block of time, this is what I did naturally. I was stunned to realize just how much I accomplished when I did not have the pressure to finish something.

Give it a try this week and let me know how you feel and what you think. I’m excited to hear what you find for yourself!

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