Earlier in the month I shared an updated approach to productivity: The TO-BE List. In this world of doing more, faster, bigger, it’s a mind shift to actually plan how to be.
We think that we accomplish breathing without much thought, it’s automatic. And yet it’s now common knowledge that the unconscious breath merely keeps us alive, survival. And when we update our approach to breathing, we can learn to breathe more deeply and with such control that our nervous system can experience a noticeable change. This is measured by heart rate or presence of hormones and endorphins and perceived calm, clarity, and focus. We might also notice a change in our moods or states of mind,
So too can planning our be-ing have a noticeable shift and change that keeps us congruent with our goals, values, and other short and long term intentions for our life. Just like we easily update our software on our phones and computers, an updated approach to productivity, being open to and willing to update our ways of thinking can impact our performance and drive to live our best lives.
In case you missed it, here is my October To Be List:
It was originally a little longer, and then I decided to focus on fewer things with greater intention and purpose. When my lists are long I, tend to feel pressure to just get it done and skim the surface. A well-edited list can lead to greater impact. And when it comes to how we want to be, being focused on fewer things helps us to exercise and develop these “muscles.” At first you may start to notice a feeling, that you are be-ing present and purposeful in the moment. Other people may also start to notice the difference, not because it’s not you or a different you, but rather there is more of YOU be-ing.
Updated approach to productivity: How do you want to BE?
So make your list. Use mine for inspiration or look at last month/s and remember what were your regrets and how can you learn from them. Learning to be non-judgemental with yourself is a great too and way of be-ing. When you can look at the past, notice regret without judgement, and re-adjust your direction going forward, you learn from the past.This is powerful living.
Sometimes words and ideas keep coming up. Learn to listen to that inner guidance. It’s like our phone keeps ringing, letting us know this direction, not that one. Answer the call.
Update Your Approach from Do-ing to Be-ing
Shifting our awareness to be-ing from do-ing might seem like a waste of time. Have you ever had a conversation where it felt like the person you were talking to was not listening or was multi-tasking? And if what you were talking about was really important how did you feel when they were clearly distracted or seemed to not care? This is how we seem to others or to our life’s work and activities when we aren’t be-ing on purpose.
When we choose to learn something that is out of our comfort zone, yet is of interest, we approach the task with enthusiasm. We reading everything we can on the topic, we seek out and learn from experienced people or experts in that field. It’s really different than taking an online class and just showing up or doing something else while it’s playing. The quality of our questions and our attention is different when we choose things that challenge us. To fully engaged in an experience is rewarding on so many levels including the people who get to experience us in this moment.
Update your approach to Planning
Take some time every week to plan your be-ing. Some people identify themselves as planners, some as non-planners. But let me say that it’s not about your natural inclination to plan or not plan. It’s creating a system that leads to being effective, impactful and feeling free and downright awesome.
Even though I consider myself a planner, it’s not that it’s always easy and takes time. It’s not that it’s just is so natural and fun to plan. I review my schedule every morning, and then plan a weekly, monthly, quarterly review. Around the holidays in December and a couple days before or after my birthday in July I plan a longer session (half day) of a twice annual review.
Weekly planning of my be-ing is a way of connecting myself to my life. Again, that may seem like we are already connected, but have you ever met anyone who has been in a job they dislike and they say, “How did I get here?” This can happen to the best of us. Think of it as filling your gas tank with premium, or eating kale, or organizing your desk. You know it’s good for you and will result in updated productivity, impact and feeling free.
Update your Morning Review: To-Be Focused
Here’s an example of how I plan my day:
I check my schedule to prepare for what is ahead in my day. My days are usually set with weekly session so my days are usually the same from week to week. What changes is that I have meetings or am in a different place in the cycle of my quarter that requires different activities. I plan my workouts, self-care/rejuvenation, and other appointments.
This keeps me focused, and whether I am using paper calendar (which I did for years, Thanks Franklin Covey!) or my phone, I feel focused, I reduce regret and learn from my past, and I fill my time with people, activities, and experiences that allow me to be purposeful and impactful.
Update your approach to meditation: Claim Space
Be-ing fully present requires space. I CLAIM space in my mind by starting my day with meditation. I currently do the morning meditation guided by Dr. Joe Dispenza.
For years before this, I did the 6-phase meditation led by Vishan Lakhiani. For years before that every morning I would do quiet meditation, zen style just being with myself for a set amount of time, from 5-30 minutes. And for years before that I would do the Liturgy of the Hours, a Catholic tradition of prayers throughout the day every morning mid-day and evening. When I was very young I would wake up and give thanks in a little prayer I said to myself. This was before gratitude journals and research on the effects of being thankful. I think I was affected by the idea that there were people not as fortunate as me, and giving thanks was a way of acknowledging this and not taking my life for granted. Each of these styles of meditation takes 20 minutes or less.
How ever you choose to create and claim space, do it regularly. Those minutes upon awakening, either by alarm or naturally are believed to be a very create state in our brain. I like the feeling of not having a lot of input before I tune in, experience and plan my be-ing
Update your approach to Be More You
Your To Be list is about being more you, and not living anyone else’s expectations, dreams, or values. It is a great opportunity and responsibility to be ourselves fully and to create and contribute to the world from this place.
Please share your thoughts and your To-Be List in a comment below.