We all have a to do list. Domestic things like dishes, laundry, putting the laundry away (an entirely separate ordeal than actually washing and drying the laundry, right!?) and dusting and picking up and all of the other things around the house eat up so much time. Then layer in kids and school and work and sports and the weeks turn into a tornado of tasks. You can feel disconnected, unstimulated, and just a little lost. Here are some simple things to do each week for more intentional living.
1. What do I want to learn this week?
Lifelong learners, get specific about something you want to learn. It doesn’t have to be earning your masters degree. Perhaps you want to learn to be a better leader – watch a LinkedIn Learning video. Are you curious about the history of your state? Read an article about a historical figure. Just take time – even if it’s ten or twenty minutes – intentionally learning something new. TedTalks are 18 minutes because the time limit forces speakers to simmer down broad topics to digestible key points. The audience can stay focused.
- Masterclass: Learn wine from James Suckling, cooking from Gordon Ramsey, US Presidential History and Leadership from Doris Kearns Goodwin, Conservation from Dr. Jane Goodall, Storytelling and humor from David Sedaris, self-made entrepreneurship from Sarah Blakely. Starts at $15/month.
- Skillshare: creative classes taught by creative people, on topics from writing to art. So cool!
- Ted Talks: Practically every topic in the world has an available TedTalk, from the power of time off to how books can open your mind
- LinkedIn Learning: offers classes and modules from real-world professionals on different topics such as sales and marketing, as well as specific skills like Excel and analytics
2. What do I want to read this week?
It can be a book, a blog, an article. Pick something specific – a topic, or a book – and go for it. Reading can help you de-stress, improve your vocabulary, and provide mental stimulation.
Reading fiction also helps you relate better to others. According to Healthline, “research has shown that people who read literary fiction — stories that explore the inner lives of characters — show a heightened ability to understand the feelings and beliefs of others. Researchers call this ability the “theory of mind,” a set of skills essential for building, navigating, and maintaining social relationships.”
3. Who is a person I miss and want to call this week?
Connecting with a friend over the phone for ten minutes will restore your soul. And her soul. Even if you think you know what that person is up to because you see pictures on Instagram and Facebook, pick up the phone and have a one-on-one conversation. ❤️
4. Who do I need to send a congratulations note or thank you note to?
There is NOTHING better than a note. You may have plans for a floral arrangement or cute gift – but a handwritten note with a genuine message is so much more special than a gift. Sending a note to someone is memorable. Think of the people who have been promoted, announced something exciting (baby, move, new job), who took you to lunch, who achieved a goal. Send a note to the people on that list.
6. Who needs to hear they are talented this week?
Did you see someone give a talk or presentation, submit a project, voice a cool idea? Don’t keep it to yourself. Follow up and let them know you thought they did a great job. Everyone loves encouragement. Take the time to boost someone’s confidence in an area in which they are talented. It will help them continue to grow and improve.
7. What is one small thing I can do to make someone else’s week better?
Chocolate always works! But it could be anything – a small act to bring a smile to someone’s face will bring you joy, too.
8. What is one thing I should do for myself this week?
Take time for yourself. What is something that helps you decompress and relax? You’ll be your best self for others when you are calm and balanced. And yes, you can find the time. (Here’s how to take time for yourself.)
None of these things take a lot of time, but you will connect and reconnect with people who fill your soul, you’ll challenge yourself to keep learning, and you’ll focus on yourself. Everyone needs to recharge, and sometimes you just need a good list to focus on the things that matter instead of the things that need to be done ❤️