Jay Shirley

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The Daily Practice

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Make choices.

Published: 12 Oct 2012

I didn’t make the best choices the other day. Yesterday I did great. Today may be better. I sat at my desk. I stared at the work I needed to get done. My todo list stared back; telling me what needed to be done. After a few minutes, I gave up. I made a bad choice. I loaded up a video game and relaxed for a little bit. It wasn’t a good choice. It made me worse off. I don’t really feel guilty about it, though. I felt I needed it.

I budget this unproductive and wasted time. I do this so that I can make a choice, know and acknowledge it’s not good and productive. When I do this I end up still meeting all my goals and I get to stay sane. This is really important as I am undergoing rehabilitation and have been cooped up. I sincerely wish I didn’t crave this unproductive time, though. I resent that I have this attachment, but I do so I accept it. I choose to limit how harmful it is by identifying it and managing it. Use your strengths to make your weaknesses irrelevant.

I don’t have a lot of these bad habits, thankfully. A lot of times the subject of TV and various shows comes up. I don’t watch TV. It’s not that I’m opposed to it or think it’s stupid. It doesn’t have any draw, I’d rather do other things. Some people famously call out TV as bad; some even call it an income reducer. It’s just one other unproductive habit many people have. It’s not bad, unless it’s unmanaged.

By just consciously acknowledging that the time spent watching TV, playing video games or any other unproductive sedentary activity you’re ahead of the curve. It is wasted time but that’s ok. Wasting time isn’t bad and our minds need the break. Wasting time without realizing is the problem. Just realize it and turn the activity into a choice.

Make a choice. It’s ok. Choose to waste time. Choose to take that mental break. By simply choosing it and thinking about it, you’ll feel better. Also, you can then limit the time by consciously planning. This will increase time spent on doing productive things. That keeps a balance and increases deep, meaningful joy.

The satisfaction and joy that comes from investing in yourself is powerful. It’s a magnificent motivator and easy to create habits around.

Sometimes I don’t want to chose something unproductive but don’t want to work on what is the most important. I also make this a choice and it helps. I simply look at the list of things I want to accomplish and pick the one that seems the most fun. I work on it for just 5 minutes. 5 minutes is a very small time investment. After 5 minutes if I’m still struggling, I move to the next one. Eventually I will find something that I enjoy.

The key is to make choices. Think about your actions and make choices. Deliberate actions done with thoughtful consideration will yield significantly better results. It’s the water for the seeds of productivity and is very important.