The power of lists (2)

Last time I wrote about the power of writing lists. Not long after that I found two lists in my shopping trolley whilst a Morrisons.

The first is show here:

Shopping list 1
A simple shopping list, looks healthy!

This list looks like its for a single meal, a stir fry with salad. Its strange how razors jumps into the person’s train of thought. And what caused the change of mind over whether to have garlic something or fish fingers instead!

Now list two is totally different:

Shopping list 2
A simple shopping list written for somebody else

Just look at the handwriting, very neat and tidy and written on lined paper, looks like a page from a school pad. This list is written to be read, very specific.

This person obviously likes their fruit and yogurt, but not so keen on exotic porridge oats! Peppers and tomatoes make an appearance again.

Then, at the bottom of the page we see why it was so well presented “Then get what you need”.

If somebody found your list, what would they read into it?

The power of lists

Do you keep a list or use your phone as a reminder tool? Well if you do then you are 33% more likely to actually complete the tasks than if you had not written them down according to the Dominican University of California.

So just by spending a couple of seconds committing yourself to the tasks you are already ahead of the game.

A list can take many forms, but the best are written with verbs:

  • Fill car with petrol
  • Phone Jane
  • Buy Birthday card

The worst are just a “list” of words

  • Petrol
  • Jane
  • Card

These tell us nothing about what we are expected to do with them, so take up expensive thinking time that could be spent on other things.

Lists are amongst the easiest ways of getting our lives on track and taking control of our futures. To see how the power of lists can help you then please get in touch.

Einstein had it right

I was recently watching the science of Doctor Who on television. They talked of the science behind all those time travel films,  where the astronaut returns from space to find that hundreds of years have passed and we are ruled by apes.

The theory says that time passes slower for people that are moving than for those that are stationary and observing them.

So, if that is the case (it is), then get up, get moving and get more done. Don’t just sit there being an observer or your life will pass by before you know it. 

Your life calendar 

Do you use a diary or a calendar? Either of upcoming events or of things past?  I have to admit that I don’t keep a backward looking diary but I do keep a calendar of appointments. But recently I can across a calendar of a different type.

Basically, it’s a 52 x 90 grid. One block for each week of your life (if you live to be 90). The way to use it is to think about the key events in your life:

  • Being born
  • Starting school
  • First kiss 
  • Marriage
  • Kids
  • Health issues
  • Employment
  • Etc… Etc… 

Then highlight the appropriate number of blocks. It’s amazing how quickly your life becomes busy. But if you think about each of the weeks individually, how many of them are actually filled with positive life improving activities?

The idea can be explored here. When you are ready to start filling in the rest of your life, give me a call. 

Chasing your target

I like to cycle to work as often as I can, I aim for twice a week as a minimum, but sometimes things get in the way. It’s not far, just four miles, but it’s enough to get me breathing and to start thinking about the day. 

Recently I was cycling at a steady pace when I was overtaken by another cyclist who moved past me going much faster. 

His legs were pumping hard and the distance between us steadily grew. “he must be fit” I thought. 

But just then a strange thing happened, he began to slow down, the distance between us got smaller and smaller until eventually I overtook him. 

He turned round surprised to see me as I cruised past, at the same steady pace that I had maintained for most of the ride. 

It then struck me what had happened. Minutes earlier he would have seen me in the near distance. Setting himself  the target of overtaking me he had put in his all to reach and then pass me. 

Now how often do we do this ourselves. We set a target. Work hard to achieve it. Bask in the glory of a job well done. And then see the rest of the world pass by. 

What the other rider should have done is measure his pace. Achieve the goal and then set another. 

If we do not have goals, even short term, then how can we keep moving forward and stay ahead of others?

So, don’t be that rider. Set your goal, work for it, and then work to be even better, for longer. 

Third place

It isn’t always bad to have 3rd place, in fact it can be beneficial. Let me explain. Most of us have at least two places, home and work, both with their own rules and constraints, both with their own stresses and strains However, Ray Oldenburgs in his book, The Third Place, says that having this third place or space is essential. It provides us with somewhere that we can let down our hair and be relaxed in a supportive friendly atmosphere.

For some the third place is a pub, a club or a coffee shop, it just has to be somewhere that has a different feel from the other two.

For me, my third place is the North Yorkshire Dales on a mountain bike, with another rider or two. I love nothing better than being out in the fresh air, pushing myself to extremes and getting covered in mud. In fact when I get home I am so hyped that I can’t sleep.

So what is your third place..?

Let me know in the comments. 


Stop Boiling Your Frog

You may have heard the story about what happens to a frog in boiling water? If not then let me tell you it. The story goes that if a frog is taken from its comfortable forest surroundings and placed into a pan of boiling water, it will, of course jump straight out.

However, if you take a similar frog and place it in a cold pan of water it will simply swim about happily. Now, if the heat is turned on and the water allowed to warm up slowly the frog will continue to swim. Turn the heat up and up and up and the frog will swim until it expires, making no attempt to leave the now boiling water.

That’s the story, but its not real, its just a story that has been told so many times that we have begun to believe it.

So why do you stay put when the heat upon you is getting turned up and up.

Go on, be cleverer than a little croaker and see why you need me to help you stop boiling your frog by clicking here.