a little tool devoted to December

It is so easy to start feeling overwhelmed by tasks in the next month or so. Like last year, however, I am determined to keep my eye on the bigger picture and focus on what is truly important, meaningful and adds value. The rest…. – well, we will just have to wait and see.

The “control centre”, the tool that can help maintain focus, is very simple. The simple tools are always the best, right? Take a piece of paper and draw lines to divide it into 4 spaces. In the top left space you write “Important”, in the right “Not important”. Going down, write “Urgent” in the top space, “Not Urgent” in the bottom. (Here’s a pdf you can download/print if you wish.)


Then take all the to-do items playing Ping-Pong between your temples, the ones scribbled in notebooks, on post-it-notes, the back of your hand and other random surfaces and plot them in the appropriate spaces.

Remember to add what’s really important. Like the activities that mean a lot to you and your family. Afternoons spent baking gingerbread reindeers or ambling through mossy forests smelling of pine and clear air, choosing this year’s special Christmas tree. Or meeting up with friends for that first glass of warm enchanted wine, attending a candlelit carol service sitting on benches that always, no matter your body mass index, makes you feel like you have a very bony bottom. All of those go on your sheet as well.

What I hope you will find, is that even though it may not feel like it at times, the stars will still shine at night, the roof stay on top of your house, your friends and family still love you even if you take shortcuts or simply delete or delay the stuff of your list that is either not important or not urgent or both. Update your list as you see fit, but always do the things first that matters the most and for the rest….. well, we will just have to wait and see.


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