Over the last few months I have been looking at ways in which to get my work slicker and easier to manage. This has included set blocked times for therapy, shortening the newsletter and podcast and hiring someone to take on some of the work.
Another idea I have had is to link the podcast with that weeks article that goes in the newsletter.
Initially I thought I was being a bit lazy and not providing enough content. Then I remembered that people like to receive information via a variety of different media. Some people like to read information, others like to see it and some like to hear it.
I also realized that by focusing just on one subject each week, could mean that I am much more focused on providing really decent information.
There is a saying in therapy that the clients you get will always have the same issues as you. So it was no surprise when a lady came to see me at the beginning of last week saying that she is stressed and tired. When we started to explore why, it turned out she is doing loads for her family, as well as having a part time job, studying and being at the beck and call of a friend who is having some challenges with their health.
When I spoke to her about cutting out what was unnecessary, she initially tried to tell me that in doing so, she would be upsetting the friends and family who had come to rely on her so much. I told her (and whilst doing so also told myself) that in setting some new boundaries and cutting out the unnecessary she would in fact be refreshed in her mind and better able to offer good quality high energy support.
I started to think about other areas of life that people may forget the benefits of streamlining….
Couples will quite often argue and then spend days remaining annoyed with each other. It is obviously unrealistic that a couple in a long-term relationship would never argue. It can be a healthy way to express when a boundary has been violated.
However you could consider streamlining your disagreements. If you argue and then think about how you would like to handle that differently in the future, then you may find yourself keen to resolve the disagreement much earlier, instead of stewing on it for 4 days. Streamlining your arguments will save you much time and expended energy that you can spend on doing more enjoyable things together.
You can streamline your finances by spending some time and energy checking to see if you can get better deals elsewhere. You can also agree with yourself to budget better and make financial plans you would like to stick to. I recently read an article from my local county council about how they are streamlining budgets, and it’s not all bad news. As a result of the cuts they are facing, they are inspiring the local community to be creative about how we can get more for our money. They are also looking to cut services that have continued just because “that’s what we do” rather than because they are important and necessary. Perhaps there are some financial habits you have developed and continue to do them just because you have always done it– and perhaps there is another way?
Many people think that healthy eating is a bit of an effort and a microwave meal can be prepared in less than 5 minutes. However the longer term effect of not eating healthily involves spending a great deal of time in hospital having a heart bypass and then countless evenings spent a weight watchers. Make the effort now so you don’t have to streamline your waistline later.
I meet a lot of people who put far too much time and energy into being miserable in their lives. I’m suggesting that you all start to streamline misery.
This is something that some people shy away from, as it usually involves stopping doing something that feels good (but is long term bad for us) or having to start to do something that temporarily feels bad.
For example, going to the gym may have a short term bad feeling, but long term can really help to streamline misery and cut a lot of it out.
Ending a relationship that isn’t really working can feel horrible initially, but in doing so can leave you both free to be happy, therefore significantly streamlining misery.
Another way to streamline misery is to give yourself permission to do it, but do it a little less.
– You could reduce the amount of time you spend on misery, so when you are miserable you can only do so for 30 minutes.
– You could reduce the amount of energy you put into it, so that rather than giving it your whole hearted attention, you also function and do other things that are so enjoyable, you can be as committed to your misery.
– You could be miserable less frequently. So really think about the events that are worthy of your misery but don’t give in to all of them, just the best of the best.
I know some of you will have read this and thought “This is ridiculous! She makes it sound like I have a choice in how I think and how I feel. I do not. It isn’t me that runs my brain and body, I just find myself doing these things!”
And the answer to that is of course, that you’ll continue to live that experience until you start to streamline the negative beliefs you that you use to tell yourself you do not have a choice.