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Why Are We So Obsessed With Doing?

University student sleeping at home

Even when we’re not supposed to be “Doing,”…we try to “Do” our way through “Not Doing.” Confusing, I know. We are strange and perplexing creatures, us humans. Trust me, the rest of the creatures in this world do not plan their rest or leisure time…No, this obsession with busy, doing mode is purely humanoid.

I’m supposed to be lying low this week in planning and recovery mode. In fact I’m taking the day off today…Can’t you tell?

But when I got out of bed this morning, before I had even taken my first sip of precious caffeine gold, my mind was already planning my day, everything that I wanted to cram into my “Off Day” whirling through my brain. Even in rest, our brains have difficulty shutting off.

To illustrate, I thought I’d share my “Rest Day” to-do list:


Kettle bell workout

Run/walk 3 miles

Catch up on filing

Pay bills

Catch up on cemetery business – file and mail out deeds, balance accts. (I’m treasurer of local cemetery)

Buy a new purse (strap broke on current one)

Go to the library

Go to son’s track meet

Go to bank

Call my grandson

Text adult children to check in

Check up on mom – recovering from eye surgery

Journal work

Read books – Finish “Without Reservations”, start “Living Deeply” and take notes from “4 Hour Body”

BP exercises from workbook

Creative brainstorming -  Future focus, direction, projects, posts, etc.

Rest on front porch with glass of tea


Funny how much my “Rest Day” list has so much “Doing” on it…sigh. It’s a sickness that I’m afraid many of us share.

It’s time to rethink what “Not Doing” means…

Who else is with me on this?

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5 Questions You Need To Ask Before You Do Anything


We do, do, do all day long, a million things – well maybe it’s only 10 or 20 or 100, but it certainly feels like a million – yet we rarely ask, ask, ask any questions. We dive right in without giving any thought to what we’re doing or why. Or we put it off, twirl it around a bit, put it off some more, then lament why we haven’t done it – or maybe that’s just me…

Don’t you want to make your life easier?

I find that when I’m operating in my stable, sane, organized and calm mode – which sadly doesn’t happen often enough – I do better if I question myself before I begin tackling anything. Whether it’s a simple task, a complex problem, a new situation, a difficult circumstance or a complicated project taking a minute to think can make a huge difference in your attitude and outcome.

Just answering these five quick questions can make whatever you’re doing so much simpler, usually faster, often with better results and nearly always less stressful.

Why am I doing this?

What are my expectations?

How much time do I have?

What tools or resources do I have/need?

Do I need help?

Now, if you’re just making the family dinner, something which happens daily…hopefully…the answer may simply be

  • To feed my family
  • A reasonably tasty, fairly healthy meal
  • 30 minutes
  • Appropriate kitchen tools and necessary ingredients (if I’ve planned ahead or am really lucky)
  • I could use some help chopping vegetables or setting the table from my kids.

If you’re working on a work presentation, the answers will be much different, but still fairly simple

  • To advance my career, to make my boss happy, I’ve been assigned the work, I want to contribute, or honestly because they pay me to do it
  • Prepare a convincing, visually attractive, comprehensive and interesting presentation
  • A week
  • I have the outline and know the audience, but I need more data and graphics
  • I can ask Bill for sales data for the last year and Julie for some help with the visual graphics portion.

It should only take a minute, literally in most cases. And if you don’t know the answers…think very carefully about doing anything until you do. That’s a recipe for disaster…or at least a stress bubbling, headache making, cookie eating, wine drinking time. (Shoot…maybe that’s just me again.)

At any rate, save yourself some time and stress and give it a try.

Do you usually pause and think before you act or do you find yourself just diving in to get it done most of the time?  

Please feel free to post a comment or post on our Facebook page.

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Hello 2013…Let’s Start The Year Off Right…Updates and Plans


First, thank you to all of my readers…long standing supporters and new recruits.

The start of a brand new year seems like a great time to take a look at where we’re going and make sure we are heading in the right direction.

So many things I want to do with this blog in 2013.

I intend to revitalize the newsletter (I totally slacked on that.) If you’re not already signed up, take a minute to do that now.

I’m kicking off a year-long series of weekly challenges, missions/actions/steps you can take(along with me) to improve your life one week at a time – Inspired by my own personal year-long plan to explore positive pathways to better…well…everything and I’m inviting you along – more to follow next week (also in that newsletter I promised you…)

New challenge for my Facebook Fans and Friends – 52 Things – This is going to be fun…and effective. If you’re not a fan of the PLC Facebook page…check it out. (Um…also in that newsletter…)

Later, but on the radar…I’m working on a fascinating experiment that I’m calling my “Expiration Date Project” and I’ll be inviting some friends and readers to be my guinea pigs…I mean take part. Fun, fascinating, life-changing and possibly paradigm-shifting… I’m busy getting the other projects underway, so look for more on this in the next month or two. (Yeah…it’ll be in one of those future newsletters too…)

In the meantime…

I’ve collected some of my favorites to get you started thinking about your new year. I wish you the best year ever in 2013!

Want to be More Productive? You Need a Work Routine - One great strategy to simplify your day and improve your productivity at the same time is to develop a work routine. Routines work well for all aspects of our lives…

Don’t Forget the Golden Rule….of Productivity - I have assembled a list of the most crucial rules to help you in your quest of becoming more productive over time… a combination of strategies gathered from highly successful productive professionals, juggling mothers and also what I have personally found works for me.

A Better Life: The Answer - I recently posed the question to my readers, “What exactly does a better life mean? What are you looking for?” It’s a good question, worthy of a serious, honest answer.

Create a Life Plan in 30 Minutes or Less…and Why You Need to - Do you have a life plan? If not, it’s time to think about creating one. We are not talking about some 20-page research paper with charts, graphs, and maps. Just a general snapshot of where you are right now in all the areas that matter and where you’d like to go in the future.

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7 Lessons We Can “Borrow” From Successful People

We can often learn by observing those who have done or are doing what we would like to accomplish. There are some basic habits or traits that many successful people share.

Why re-invent the wheel? Why not simply borrow what others have already shown us works?

Success habits worth borrowing:

  1. Successful people have a daily plan, agenda or to-do-list.
  2. Successful people work on what they do best. Delegate the rest.
  3. Successful people are able to say no to people and demands that are not the best use of their time.
  4. Successful people are organized in both thought and deed (or hire someone to keep them that way.)
  5. Successful people stay focused on results, not busywork.
  6. Successful people schedule uninterrupted work time and guard it fiercely.
  7. Successful people allow time for learning and growth.

Sounds pretty straightforward…the hard part is putting them into action…

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5 Lessons Veterans Can Teach Us About Life and Business

Veterans Day

Rather than just celebrating another day off from school, and for many of us work, maybe we should take a look at what we can learn from those brave men and women we celebrate on Veteran’s Day.

The whole is greater than the sum of its parts – When you work together as a team, the results you achieve can be far greater and more productive than anything an individual can accomplish. Enlist help and collaborate as a team when possible.

Do it even if you don’t feel like it – Some days we don’t feel like making calls, writing proposals, cleaning up the kitchen or getting up and driving to work. So what! Don’t even think about whether or not you “feel” like doing something. Just move on to the next item and complete it.

Keep your eye on the big and the little picture – Advice abounds, “think about the big picture” or “just focus on what’s in front of you,” but the reality is…you need to pay attention to both. Place your attention on doing what’s in front of you and pay attention to the details, but also keep in mind the overall goal and what you’re trying to achieve.

Be clear on what you’re trying to accomplish – You need to be very clear on what you’re trying to do and why. What is it that you want out of your life, your business or career and what specifically is the desired outcome for each project or goal. You can’t get where you want to go if you don’t have a destination in mind.

Plan, but be flexible – Plan your actions, decide what you’ll do, how and when, but also be prepared to deviate if necessary. It’s often not possible to plan for every contingency, so when things shift or schedules change be willing to be flexible and regroup.

Can you think of anything I’ve left off? Have you learned a valuable lesson from a veteran that you’d like to share?

Question everything, move forward, enjoy the journey.

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