When working with clients, I hear a lot about how there just isn’t enough time or energy to do everything they want to do. In actuality, it’s not really a time or energy issue . . . it’s more about decisions around where to spend their time and mental energy.
I’ve found it helpful for my clients (I use this myself, also) to break down how they use their time or energy into three categories I refer to as A.C.T.
A – Action: This is where we should spend the majority of our time and energy. This is the area where we can get things done. Decisions are within our control. Actions are doable. We are in charge of our destiny. “Plan your work for today and every day, then work your plan.” (Margaret Thatcher)
C – Consciousness: These are things that are facts and issues we can’t control, yet are worrisome to us. This category may include the health and welfare of a loved one; whether or not we will get a promotion (once the Action category is no longer in play); climate change (yes, we can do our part, but we can’t control all of it), etc. Until we let our brains process things in the consciousness zone, they will just sit and ruminate. Acknowledge them, say a polite “thank you” then let them go.
T – Trash: This is the easier stuff to let go of. Falling into this category may be the actions of others (can’t really control those, can we?); the weather (unless, of course you’re having an outside wedding and it looks like rain, then the Action category would be appropriate); things that have happened in the past (can’t change those), etc. Let go of things you can’t control that don’t have a huge impact going forward. To these items, I say “Why did I waste my time and energy on you? Good riddance!”
When your time or energy starts to get the better of you . . . A.C.T.