If you take anything away from these Making Things Happen Monday posts, you might want to take it from this week’s post. These changes are so easy, but so effective!
I don’t even remember how this idea came about, but right after I came home from MTH I made these two sets of jars.
Set #1: Distraction Jars
I often find myself on internet rabbit trails that stem from not being able to make a decision. I don’t know how to finish a blog post so I find myself on Amazon looking for new water bottles. I don’t know which email to answer first so, clearly, that means I should watch a clip from SNL on Hulu. Don’t want to pick a time to schedule a meeting? No problem! I have 87 unread items in Google Reader to keep me busy until I finally decide on a time and place.
Distractions are the yeast that spoils the whole batch of dough.
If ALL of the time I wasted putting off simple decisions were compiled…I don’t even know where I’d start with all of the free time I’d have. I’d probably go straight to Pinterest to look around for a few hours because I couldn’t begin to decide how to use it all.
In an effort to curtail this bad habit I cleaned out two candle holders and put them on my desk. I put a handful of clear stones in one and left the other empty. Now, when I’m sitting at my desk working on something and find myself drifting off into a distraction of any kind, I take a stone from the full jar and put it into the empty jar.
There’s no point system. There’s no reward for a day with no stones in the empty jar. I don’t believe that the earth will open up and swallow me whole if all of the stones from the full jar move over to the empty jar in the course of one evening. I’m not trying to bring back the good old days of 1st grade marble jars.
But what happens is that I’m forced to physically stop mid-distraction and refocus. I realize that I’m just avoiding making a decision. I ask why I’m avoiding the decision. Then…I MAKE A DECISION.
Because seriously…I’ve wasted too much time and energy being chronically indecisive.
And then at the end of every day, I reset the jars so that one is full and one is empty so I have a fresh start for the next day.
This system really works for me. Try it out and see what you think!
Set #2: Truths and Lies
As someone who has a naturally overactive mind and who lives alone, I think I think a lot of thoughts. A LOT of thoughts. And while some of them turn into great blog posts and others into riveting emails and non-riveting Word documents, most of them are just fluff. And a good percentage of that fluff is toxic.
Fears and doubts and insecurities. In short: lies.
So I cleaned out two mason jars and put them on an accessible shelf. One for lies, and one for truth. Whenever a thought enters my mind that is a bold-faced lie, I write it down and put it in the LIE jar.
But whenever I read a verse that strikes a chord or receive encouragement from a friend or hear a song that lifts me up, I write that down and put it in the TRUTH jar.
At the end of the week, I trash what is in the LIE jar. Dramatically. There is crumpling and tearing to pieces involved.
The slips of paper inside the TRUTH jar, I keep.
Sure, it’s a little laborious. Perhaps it’s a little over the top. But there is something powerful about writing things down. The lies look ridiculous on paper. They lose all their power. The truth shines!
When I’m faithful about keeping up with both of these systems, my days go much, much better.
Still want to sign up for the mini Challenge? There’s still time!!! You have until the end of June to participate by doing the following:
2. DO The Challenge! It’s a 10 Step process that will set you up for success in every area of life.
3. During The Challenge, you will receive email encouragement from me and a nice surprise in the mail when you successfully complete all 10 Steps (and you will successfully complete all 10 Steps!).
4. One lucky duck will win a prize package, announced at the completion of The Challenge.
You can do it! You’ll love it! Your life will be different and better! You’ll get a lifetime supply of frozen yogurt!*
*Which is only true if you’re me and you eat enough frozen yogurt to make it seem like a lifetime supply anyway. But the other stuff? Totally true! So get started!