Janelle's Blog

Left-over Time for the Important Things

The January Emotional Crash

I overheard someone say on the radio, “This is the most depressing time of the year. We are almost through January and people are discouraged that they have already failed to fulfill their New Year’s Resolutions.”

There is a bit of a let-down when we go from the festive holidays to our ordinary daily affairs, so it’s already time to take a refresher’s course. Please click on my blog on New Year’s Resolutions Out the Door to get a grip on how to handle all of the grandiose promises you made yourself. Think of this as a year-long project, not a one-time shot. Try improving the weak areas of your life instead of criticizing your shortcomings.

Keeping the Important Stuff

Here’s a story I read that gave me a visual of how to keep the minutia of each day from crowding out the important things that need to be done:

Take a jar, some sand, some pebbles, and larger stones. Put the sand in first, then the pebbles. If you have any room left over, place a few stones on top. This demonstrates how we allow the most important things to get cast aside because we are so busy taking care of the small stuff.

This made such an impression on me, that I decided to create my own visual. I filled a 3×3 inch glass container with a thick layer of sand, then another layer of pebbles, and a final topping of shiny stones. I placed it under my computer monitor to be a constant reminder that if I do the important things first, the smaller things will fill in spaces around the stones and I will successfully accomplish those important things. It was a more dramatic visual for me to have the division of stones than mixing them.

Taking it another step further, my daily To Do List has the important things I must accomplish for the day listed, then less important things behind that. I wedge in the less important things as the day goes on by attacking those first things first.

Brian Tracy explains how to reengineer your work flow by taking each task and making a list of all the steps from start to finish to complete it. Then set a goal to reduce the number of steps on the list by 30 percent the first time through. This makes it amazingly easy to accomplish the task the first time you do it.

Heading Out of the Downward Spiral

Breast cancer can throw you into a confusing downward spiral of self-confidence and leave you unsure of your capability to finish things. German philosopher Goethe wrote, “Everything is hard before it is easy.” Gaining control of things in your life will give you confidence and self-assurance. After all, you are the same person, only better than you used to be. You have more life-experience, more knowledge, more heart.

Set yourself up for success in 2008. Make yourself proud by creating good work habits this year and raising your level of confidence and productivity.

Thought for Today:

“Know yourself. Don’t accept your dog’s admiration as conclusive evidence that you are wonderful.” – Ann Landers

Live Life,


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