Time-management is a valuable skill, and I doubt that I’ll ever stop being drawn to books with titles like “Getting Things Done,” “Deep Work” and “The Checklist Manifesto.” But priority management — or paying attention to why we are working and what we’re working towards — is equally important. Organizing my weeks in a way that maximizes productivity, presence and pleasure is helping me do both.
People can make our lives more difficult, but without them, we wouldn’t survive. Given this reality, it’s worth figuring out ways to deal with people who challenge us. In cases where changes to the relationships or circumstances are impossible, transforming our attitudes towards the relationships or circumstances may be a good option.
There are plenty of situations in life that are impossibly difficult: the death of a loved one, unemployment, and complicated family dynamics, to name a few. All too aware of the circumstances in which simple solutions don’t exist, I’m committed to saving my mental, emotional and spiritual energy for those moments. That’s why before catastrophizing or making drastic decisions in moments like the ones listed above, I’m going to keep pausing and asking: is there a more simple solution? If the answer is yes, then I’m trying it first.
It’s no secret that 2020 was an exceptionally challenging year, and the mental and emotional exhaustion that it caused left me tempted to scrap 2021 resolutions. But I know myself, and I know that goals energize me and help me focus my time and energy on the things that I value most. My plans for this next year make me excited to turn the calendar page, even if they look different than they usually do.
Grace before meals, toasts, and birthday blessings are opportunities to bring a crowd together, to bestow affirmation and to remind everyone present of what matters most in life. So next time you find yourself with a group of family members or friends and the opportunity to give thanks, to celebrate, or to bless presents itself, go for it! Your words will infuse the room — and the people in it — with warmth, joy and love.
I’ve also been pleasantly surprised at the fun, festive, and meaningful atmosphere cultivated in many of the electronic spaces, and in an attempt to learn from the best Zoom sessions I’ve attended, I analyzed my video-conferencing experiences of the past year. In doing so, I found that the most successful gatherings involve a few key ingredients.
Moving can be a hassle: It’s often expensive and time-consuming, not to mention emotionally exhausting as it necessitates goodbyes to friends, favorite coffee shops, and beloved routines tied to a previous home. But there are also many benefits of moving.
Here are a few ways that I’ve embraced the “fresh start” mentality in order to make the most of a move.
The past few months have revealed to me that I need out-of-the-ordinary forms of fun to make my weekends and evenings feel satisfying and full. Many of my usual sources of enjoyment are no longer available to me, but that doesn’t mean that I’m destined to a life that feels like one, long midweek afternoon. Here are three ways that I’ve started to infuse my evening and weekends with festivity.
No matter what’s going on in the world, it is always a good time to learn more about the people who matter most to us, and getting a break from discussing topics that cause stress and boredom is an added perk. These questions have done the trick for me.