Last month, I took an Influence Network class called Rhythms of Life and Rest taught by my friend, Jessi. I took notes and she recommended all her "students" write out a list and take stock of what gives them life (passion, refreshment, joy) and what steals that life away. Our lists will look different, and that's ok. The purpose is to know how I'm living and learn if I'm comfortable in these patterns. Are there ways I can strategically minimize the life-stealers and maximize life-givers?
To start, I just placed a notepad out on my desk for several weeks and jotted things down in either category as I thought of them.
As I look at the list of stealers, I realize that my best strategy is to try to accomplish them as quickly as possible. If I let them linger on my to-do list, I dread the rest of the day. Since I like checking things off a list - I need to make those phone calls and wash the dishes sooner rather than later.
It is a running joke in my family that I prefer quiet. I would ask for the TV to be turned down or off, sometimes even background music steals away my peace. I'm working on being more flexible though - because it can be life-giving to my husband.
Sleep and a hot shower are complete mood-changers for me. Even as a new mom, I tried to at least shower every day. I'm a better mama (and person) with sleep, so the cry-it-out method worked for us when our daughter was around 5 months. Since then, we all usually get a full night's sleep.
I may not be a good mingler, but I do love parties. I've learned to work within my character and don't put pressure on myself to talk with every person in the room. Even at our wedding, we did a meet + greet line (which I don't really love), because neither of us likes to "work a room." If I could pick, I would talk with a handful of people and really get to know them, instead of a lot of small talk.
And the life-givers? I just love this list. The practice of writing these down was informative and has given me some ideas of what to do when I'm feeling drained. I would highly recommend it!