Intention vs. auto pilot

list making

Some of us are natural list-makers; others aren’t. I happen to be a list-maker.

On weekdays I start my day either reviewing a list I made at the end of the day before or creating a list for the day. It’s old school I know but I use pen and paper! On the left are things I need to do or want to do in my job; on the right are things I need to or want to do unrelated to my job i.e. the rest of life! I might have something like ‘finish report’ on the left; I might have something like ‘buy milk’ or ‘call Julie’ on the right. If it is a long list I prioritise either using letters or numbers. These identify the order in which I plan to do things or those things that are an absolute MUST to get done that day, regardless of the order in which I do them.

I have had this habit for many a year but this month I have been more reflective as I have written each list. Because it is a habit, I can write the list on ‘auto pilot’. This essentially means writing down the things that are at the top of my mind.

As I have reflected more on my daily lists, I have started asking the question, ‘What is significant to do today?’ It works for the work-related stuff and the ‘other’ stuff. It makes me move out of auto-pilot to make choices. Sometimes it has caused an entirely different list of priorities: what my ‘auto pilot’ mode put at the top of the list has sometimes ended up crossed off entirely. Sometimes I can say why a priority or action changed as I reflected; sometimes it is as if a wiser mind than mine joined in the exercise.

Instead of being ‘top of mind’ lists,  the lists are becoming more intentional (on some days at least!).

Lists may or may not be your ‘thing’. But making intentional choices on what to do (and therefore what not to do) is something we all rate.

This is Mindful Monday on 20 January 2020.

If you live in Cheltenham or nearby, join Julie Hill and Sara Shailer for an evening of mindfulness at the Oasis on Monday 3 February 7.30-9 pm.

 

 

 

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