12 Days - I Dare You!
I just passed a colleague in the hallway and asked how her holidays treated her. She said, “So much fun but we hosted family for five days and I need a vacation from the vacation. I think I’m going to actually take a PTO day to just get reorganized.”
I asked, “How foreign would it feel for you to take a day for yourself and do exactly that?” She looked at me, paused, made a face I can only describe as aghast and said, “I just wouldn’t. I couldn’t.” And she meant it.
It hit me that her reaction was normal—especially in the good ole USA. Many of us have been built to believe that taking time to do what might be considered trivial tasks would never warrant a day away from the office and away from what we ‘get compensated’ to do.
But why not? What happens when we take time to center, refocus and get organized?
It actually affects us positively psychologically and physiologically. When we deal with clutter or unpleasant tasks, we remove the cortisol-induced stress these things cause us. They are no longer looming and following us like shadows, and we feel lighter.
Moreover, by removing the invisible ties that mentally bind you elsewhere, it allows you to focus your energy on important tasks and actions needed to elevate personally and professionally.
So, here comes your challenge. Take one day each month to tackle whatever task needs to be done that will make you feel focused, calm, clear and/or organized. One day to help you feel accomplished and at ease.
Can’t do it? Do you think there’s too much to do and feel overwhelmed? Do you know who would miss you for one day a month? No one. Absolutely no one. This comment is not meant to hurt; there’s freedom in knowing you can put yourself first, and now is the time.
Again, taking one day a month—or even a few hours during the month—to complete tasks that are considered necessary but not urgent is critical for self-care. Don’t believe me? There’s plenty of research on why removing clutter and feeling organized is good for your health.
It absolutely doesn’t matter what the task or activity is that you want/need to do that will help you to refocus, prioritize and get centered. The point is, it’s your thing and by doing it, you (and possibly everyone else in your life) will be better for it.