This should be helpful

How many projects are on your to do list? How many are really important to get done next week/tomorrow/right now?

I’m not going to talk about those today. You certainly know the panic of the last minute brings that adrenaline rush to get crap done. The jolt of natural amphetamine that brings that focus, and falling by the wayside are all those unnecessary tasks — like food, sleep, and personal hygiene. No; I’m talking about those *other* projects. The “I should’s.”

I bet you have dozens of things on your to do list that you “should” do. I should clean off my desk.” “I should do the dishes.” “I should do my taxes.” or even “I should stop eating so much candy corn.”

Here’s the thing: by whose or what’s authority should you do these things?

I ask again. Pause for a moment to answer this question. Who or what is telling you you should?

I know the answer: You. Or at least the guilt-inducing you. Sure; your boss may want your desk clear, your dwelling mates want the dishes reasonably clean (ask my wife). The IRS wants your taxes paid, and your dentist may want you to cut down on the candy corn.

But if you really cared what they thought, you’d just do it. The “should” is a voice from inside you. It’s a guilty word. It’s a word that chastises you and threatens to send you to your room or sit at the dinner table till you’ve finished your disgusting overcooked okra in chicken-snot marinade.

The word “should” lives in the back of your mind, and basically, shoulds” all over you. How about these…

Four alternatives to should-ing all over yourself:

  1. I need to …
  2. I want to …
  3. I get to …
  4. I can’t wait to …

Listening to your self-talk can embarrass and enlighten you. Adjusting your self-talk will reveal the pleasures of moving forward and getting all the “should” off your to do list, and strangely, this small change can make it easier to tackle your list.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to get up early so I shou– I mean, I can’t wait to get to bed. Ta!

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