I used to work in a hypnosis center, and most of our clients came there for weight loss. In addition to their hypnosis sessions, they also had classes dealing with both the physical and emotional aspects of weight loss. Part of my job was to teach those classes, and it was remarkable to learn all those things in order to pass them on to other folks. While I didn’t necessarily love my job, I have never, ever learned so much from any other place of employment as I did there.
Some of the best lessons, though, were not the ones I taught to the clients, but the ones that they taught me. Today’s Something Good is such a simple idea that one of the women in a class shared and that I took to heart. Occasionally I forget about this idea; tuck it away in the folds of my brain somewhere, and then I’m pleased when it returns to me. It did so last night as I was trying to fall asleep, and I wanted to pass it on so that we can all use it to our advantage.
Today's suggestion for Something Good is to “Do Three Things.” This is not to be confused with “Do One Thing Different,” which is an entirely different concept that I’m going to be sharing here in the future. When you are overwhelmed by how much is going on around you and how much needs to be done, it can be really useful to simply do three things at a time. I’m not kidding when I say that it is such an easy, useful tool.
For example, I have a group of ladies coming over tonight (I know, I’ve been so social for the last week). The problem is that my house is just not cleaned up. Looking around at the dishes in the kitchen, the stacks of paper in the living room, and the haphazard piles of laundry in the bedroom, I’m feeling a tad overwhelmed. In addition, I need to put together some snacks, and I have an appointment at 3:00 this afternoon, which doesn’t get me back to the house until about an hour before everyone arrives.
When my mind was racing with all the stuff I had to do, and I couldn’t fall asleep last night; I remembered my former client’s suggestion and decided it was a wonderful way to do Something Good for myself today. Rather than getting buried under the avalanche of impending chores, why not just do three things at a time?
Here’s how it works: Let’s use the example of cleaning up the house or apartment, as that’s when I find this idea the most useful; and let’s face it, we all have to clean up sometime. Anyway, instead of looking around you and seeing all the things that need to be done at once, go ahead and narrow it down. Walk into your kitchen and do three things. They can be small things like throwing away food wrappers that are sitting on the counter or bigger things like emptying or filling the dishwasher.
Once you’ve done those three things, you can either stick around and do some more or walk away. Perhaps you go ahead and walk into the bathroom where you do three things: put the toothpaste away, close the shower curtain, and empty the wastebasket, for example. You can stay and clean out the sink, or you can walk away. Next you might enter the living room where you do three things: hang up a coat, clear off the couch, and take a glass into the kitchen, maybe.
Well, heck. Now you’re back in the kitchen. You probably might as well go ahead and do three things, right?
The reason this works is because you don’t end up getting completely overwhelmed by the projects at hand. Each of the things that you’re doing is going to have to be done, and it doesn’t matter what order you choose to do it. You might even sit down at some point and work on that correspondence or go outside and play with the kids. When you finish, just remember to go into a room and do three things.
Getting organized is hard, and staying organized is harder. Cleaning an entire house or apartment can be so daunting. Hopefully using this method will be a way that you can do Something Good for yourself by breaking it down into much more manageable pieces. Even if you don’t get the entire project done, three trips through the kitchen means that nine things have been completely finished, right? Sometimes that alone is enough to make all the difference in the world.