Every working day I fill out a Storyline Productivity Schedule and one of the things it disciplines me to do is to make two lists. The first is a list called “If I Could Live Today Over Again I’d” and the other is a list of “Things I Get to Enjoy Today”
The things I write on those lists don’t come naturally. I’m forced to sit and think about them, sometimes for several minutes. But they serve me. In fact, they serve me so well I no longer skip them. Here’s why each list is so important:
IF I COULD LIVE TODAY OVER AGAIN I’D
I borrowed this concept from renowned psychologist Viktor Frankl who taught his patients to treat each day as though they were living it for a second time, only this time around to not make the same mistakes. It’s an amazing little mind trick, actually. What it does is cause us to evaluate the decisions we will make that day even before we make them and as such avoid regret. It’s a powerful tool to help us not live in reaction but instead to accept our God-given agency. When I sit and think about what I’d do if I could live today over again, I always write down that I’d spend more time in prayer or invest in close friends. My life becomes much more relational because I make this list.
THINGS I GET TO ENJOY TODAY
I’ve a confession. I love to work. I love my job and I love my life. What we teach at Storyline works better than any other life-planning system I know and I often feel like proof. That said, a life building Storyline isn’t a complete life, and at times I get bogged down with the work and feel as though life is passing me by. I borrowed this list from Dr. Neil Fiore, a leading expert on helping people to stop procrastinating. Dr. Fiore believes one of the reasons people procrastinate is because they feel like if they work they’ll be missing out on an enjoyable life. Of course, it all backfires because they don’t get their work done and then don’t enjoy life either because they feel guilty. So, Dr. Fiore developed this helpful list as a tool. In the morning, simply write down all the things you get to enjoy today and you won’t feel like you’re missing out on life. In fact, you’ll be much more likely to get your work done knowing you aren’t missing out on life at all but are simply getting your work done first so you can enjoy it without guilt later.
You can start making both lists every morning, if you like. If you keep at it, it becomes a habit and life becomes more productive and enjoyable. It all starts in the mind.
Download the Storyline Productivity Schedule HERE.