There are always new and better ways to do things – to be more effective at work, to manage your time better, to get more out of life, and to feel more fulfilled. But often, there are things that have worked for us in the past that we forget about. Case in point: in high school and college, I played classical music during my study and work time. I found that it helped me to focus, be calm, and remain alert. Over the years, I have moved away from that practice.
Recently I became frustrated with all of the distractions – both internal and external – that seemed to be impacting my productivity. Internal distractions such as streams of thought, conversations with myself, worry, and fatigue and external distractions like ringing phones, instant messaging alerts, and others’ conversations were bogging me down and breaking my focus. It hit me that I needed to reset my environment to reduce the distractions and I then remembered my classical music routine.
Similarly, a client shared how overwhelmed and fatigued she felt every day. We talked about all of the things contributing to those feelings and I asked her to think of a time when she felt she was managing her stress and tiredness. As she thought back, she recalled that having a regular exercise routine was a common thread in the times when she felt in control of the stress in her life and had energy to get through the day. She then came up with a specific and manageable plan for exercising regularly again.
It’s easy to let go of our good habits or forget about the things that have worked for us in the past. But it’s never too late to take a step back, remember our tried and true practices, and reintroduce them into our lives.
What old habits and best practices have fallen by the wayside for you?
Please leave a comment.
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