One of our Be Well readers, Carole is the inspiration for this month’s article. She asked about managing those ‘To do’ lists without feeling overwhelmed – thanks for asking Carole.
If you are one of those people who make long lists of ‘ To dos’ but never seem able to complete them at the end of day or, you end up feeling really tired after a ‘busy’ day but can’t put your finger on exactly what you accomplished that day- you are not alone. Too many people make the mistake of adding more to their already full lives with the intention of improving a life that is off balance, but end up feeling more muddled and ‘stressed’.
In order to stay afloat in our busy, go-go world we all could use some self-management strategies. Self-management requires a deliberate process which includes asking yourself powerful questions. The following tool is designed to help you self-manage through the power of questions. The IDARE self-coaching tool is excellent for self-managing your personal and professional lives. The IDARE tool is built around the four pillars- mental, spiritual, emotional and physical pillars that are in everyone. These pillars form the foundation on which our lives are built, they shape our core beliefs, values and principles that we use to guide and manage our lives.
Here’s how to use IDARE: I-Is for Intention. Ask yourself what is my intention for…? This helps you reveal your true underlying beliefs, values and commitments. D-Is for Desire. Taking action without desire you will stay stuck in the idea or intention phase. A is for Action-Whether you take action or not, you will get results- R is for Results. This makes it important that you have clear intentions that are supported by a strong desire which will move you into action and your desired results. E is for Evaluation– at each step of the way stop and take the time to evaluate your progress as well, evaluate if your actions are in alignment with your core beliefs, values and principles.
The following four steps will help you create action without feeling overwhelmed:
1. Remove: Before you add anything to your life, take a good look to see what needs to be removed first. By clearing your life of distractions and noises you allow yourself to create a space where you can breathe and think more clearly.
2. Reassess: Use IDARE to help you decide if the actions you want to take are aligned with your true intentions.
3. Repeat: Go back to #1 and see if there still is clutter and distraction that are getting in your way of moving forward.
4. Respect: Respect the fact that there are a fixed number of hours in the day, leave 1-2 hours free to deal successfully with the unexpected. This strategy will prevent feelings of anxiety and tension. It will also help you successfully get through your ‘To Do’ list.