The art of refocusing to do what you love
The purpose of the 48weeks.com website is to share my experiences whilst I try and reinvent my working life in the hope that at least one of you out there finds a little bit of gold and is inspired to lead a better life (by you own definition).
It’s quite personal but here is a (very) simple visual tool I’ve used to help me take action to get on the path of a day to day workday that I’d love to be doing. Most successful entrepreneurs will tell you that the main thing to do when pondering something is to “take action” but what action should you take? This is a simple technique I’ve used to determine those first steps towards the lifestyle that I desire by identifying what I do now and what I want to do each day.
Evaluate your typical current day.
1. Open up a spreadsheet right now and write Monday through Sunday across the top of the sheet.
2. If you have a typical week, like my example below, write a list of the typical things you do on the left hand side. If your week is more flexible than mine, then list out each day under the day heading.
3. Think about your ultimate every day, not the very best day of your life, just the ultimate “this is what I’d be happy to do every day forever” kind of day.
4. Thinking about the ultimate day, colour each cell with green if you are happy with this part of your day currently. Anything that you are unhappy about with your current day should be coloured in red.
It should look something like this but with your own colour breakdown:
Now, that we have dealt with what you currently do, lets focus on what you want to do each day.
5. To the right of your current coloured in section, Write out Monday to Sunday again at the top.
6. Write a list of the typical events in your ultimate day.
7. Colour happy activities in green, and unhappy activities in red. (Note that everything should be green!!!)
It should look like this:
8. The most important step! Sit back and look at the screen. Get emotional, it is allowed. Allow yourself to realise that you may be doing a lot of things on a day-to-day basis that make you unhappy, or at the very least don’t make you happy.
Think through the following thought process at this time:
- Realise that you are doing things that really aren’t what you would choose to do.
- Realise that you will probably be doing this for many years to come (in my case another 30+ years!).
- Realise that unless YOU take action nothing will change.
- Accept that last point. Nothing will change. That should scare you!
- Slap yourself, everything CAN change.
- Realise that by accepting that things are not ideal you have made the first step towards your freedom.
- Realise that what you have been doing up until now was ok, but you’ve just assessed your day-to-day goals and made the conscious decision to do things differently from here on in to life the life you want to live.
9. Refocus your energy to doing more of the things that make you happy. Slowly start to implement the desired activities into your life. Obviously for me, leaving my current job will be one of the last things to change, but if I can start to do some of the other things on my list, even once a week now then I’m on my way!
They divide between your red list and green list will seem to be huge and that’s ok. Mine is massive! But, day by day, week by week, small changes are being made and I know what my end goal is. I have refocussed my life and am striving towards my goal. I’d encourage you to make slight adjustments and implement them slowly, so that they are achievable. We’ve all tried running every morning before work. This usually lasts only for about a week because we were not ready to make such a huge change to our lives and we lose motivation. Start with one thing, do it occasionally and over time ramp it up. I promise that you will feel like this is achievable. Each sense of a win will make you strive to do more, and before you know it, you’ll start to be able to get more “green” into your current day.
As you can see, my end goal still includes a fair amount of work per day (on average). The difference is that I’ll be happy and I’ll be working on things that I love to do. I can’t imagine a better way to spend my working life!
I’ve given myself 48 weeks to “green” up my day. Make a commitment with yourself and comment below to keep yourself accountable.
If anyone else has ever done something like this or has a similar tool you’d like to share, please let me know!
Thanks – Scott