Mary’s comment said:
“I think you made a good case for a mix of how we string the racket: sometimes tight with GTD, and sometimes loose for extra creativity.”
My article had been written in response to a post Leo Babauta from Zenhabits had written entitled “Toss Productivity out”, and other articles I had read in the same week, from Barrie Davenport of Live Bold and Bloom and another article Mary had written on her website alistblogmarketing.
Most of the articles I had read that week called for a looser reaction to productivity, suggesting that organization and productivity may somehow stifle creativity, I disagree. You can read the article here “Is Productivity yesterday’s habit?” But Mary’s comment got me to thinking about my own situation; how tight is my racket normally strung? (and I’m not talking about my Babolat in the cupboard!) Am I as balanced as I would like to think?
In tennis the tighter your racket is strung the more control you will get over the ball, but if you string your racket too tight you will risk your strings breaking, on the other hand if you string your racket too loosely you will get more power from the ball, but continue to loosen it and you will lose control over the ball and will no longer be able to play the game.
So the question is; are you at optimum tension or do I need to loosen or tighten your racket?
Here are a couple of questions that may help you decided where you are at.
Is your house clutter free?
Clutter can be described as postponed decisions. If things are regularly lying around, is it because you haven’t decided what you should do with them yet? Would you know where to find your car insurance, car tax or personal identity number? Clutter is not good for productivity, creativity or general wellbeing. Make a start today and remove the clutter from your life.
Do you possess a Task List or To-do List?
Where do you record all the tasks and jobs you need to do? Do you use your email program to record them? Or perhaps you use a To-do list or Task Manager on your phone. Maybe you like to stick to a paper based traditional To-do list?
It is important to have some sort of system for storing your jobs and tasks other than your head!
Do you have a system for remembering appointments, meetings etc?
Do you use a diary or calendar? Maybe you use your phone calendar or maybe you have a diary that you carry around with you. Calendars are necessary to write down date and time specific items. If you need to be at the dentist at 1:30 you will miss your appointment if you are not there on time.
Calendars can be used to make appointments with yourself to complete certain things in life.
Are you flexible with your daily schedule, open to new opportunities?
Although I am an advocate of using schedules and organizing your life efficiently, I also believe strongly in living your life with flexibility and spontaneity. I am always open to new opportunities and possibilities. This may sound like a contradiction but it’s not, any sports team will know the importance of a game plan, they will never go out on the pitch without mapping out what they want to happen. As we know the reality is very different, they will have to adapt to the play from the other team and go with the flow. The same applies with life, we start with a plan but life happens and sometimes we have to be flexible and open to doing things differently. This can often be refreshing and exciting if you allow it to be.
Do you spend time alone, creatively?
Do you have time in your week, every week just for you? Do you ever just sit and think? Do you go for walks in nature or exercise in the open air? Being alone with yourself can give you time to think, or time to just be. It is a great way to step away from the stress of life and the issues and problems of others and focus on yourself, your needs, your talents and your own person.
From answering these questions you can decide if your racket needs a restring or not. Remember a happy life is a balanced one. Everybody has things that need to be done but we must ensure that there is space and time to rejuvenate, grow, develop and be inspired.
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