Balancing want and should is akin to balancing play and work. I have wondered where the people live who can strike a good balance between doing want they want while wisely taking care of business. I tend to work or focus on should until I have missed a great deal of things I want to do for fun and enjoyment. Today, I am reaching out to the people who need help managing or reducing the power of should in their lives.
Although I may be wrong about this assumption, my guess is that many who read our blogs are more focused on should than want. So many situations in our lives demand that we be responsible and task oriented. These responsibilities include financial, personal relationships, household maintenance, health and careers. These aforementioned areas are packed with “should” activity. , and I am pretty sure you get my point. Right now, for the next 5 to 10 minutes, I want you to create a list of all of your should activity you need to accomplish for the rest of October and November. Now take a look at the list and let’s break it down.
Is there anything on your list that has been there forever? I mean what feels like forever? ( an example: I really should eat liver!) I challenge you to pick something that’s been on your list making you feel bad for not completing it, and decide not to worry about it again until 2015. What I am asking you to do is what we coaches call “Shelf it.” I want you to take this task, responsibility, or project out of your mind. When it comes up, I want you to say to yourself, no, this is no longer on my plan for 2014. Take one task that’s been hanging around and making you feel guilty and shelf it.
Next, is there anything on your list you can delegate? This is step two. Maybe you can delegate more than one should! Is there something at work you can ask a subordinate, peer or intern to take on? Do you have children who can start doing a few more things at home? Adding some responsibilities to your childrens’ lives is teaching them the valuable skills of being team players. You can remind yourself that you are helping them be more responsible. Along the lines of delegating can you do a trade? Maybe you have become responsible for some task at home or work and you have grown tired of it. It may be time to ask for change. You could present this as an experiment. I would like to try… for a while. Do you mind taking over… ?
Now the final request I will ask of you…take action. Star at least two or three shoulds on your list, and do them. Choose ones that once completed, are complete for a while, so you can feel accomplished. Some examples could be re-grouting your bath tub, or cleaning your carpet, or deleting all your old emails.
I hope this helps you reduce some of your shoulds freeing up relaxing and playful time in your life.