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14 Apr

Fifty things that annoy you

Datum: 2010-04-14 11:41

There are some things we’ve got to do which, like the con­stant buzzing of a sum­mer fly, annoys us so immense­ly that it makes us spend too much time and ener­gy on griev­ing over and dwelling on it, or maybe even walk around real­ly irri­tat­ed due to it.

We lose per­spec­tive, and not only do those annoy­ing things feel numer­ous, but they feel very over­whelm­ing and com­pre­hen­sive as well.

It’s these things put togeth­er that puts a heavy load on our shoul­ders, like a cum­ber­some yoke, which makes us feel that every­thing goes against us and that it’s just too much right now”.

But, what are these things?

For me, it’s often an object that needs to be repaired, has a mal­func­tion or has just stopped working.

But it might also be one of these things:

  • That you can’t print from the print­er because some­thing is wrong with it.
  • That there are too many unread e‑mails in the inbox (and there came anoth­er one …)
  • Some­thing that must be pur­chased to our home but which we always seem to forget.
  • Some­thing we’ve decid­ed to get start­ed, but have not been able to get going with yet.
  • Some­thing we’ve start­ed but not com­plet­ed yet, and nev­er seem to find time to com­plete, so now it sim­ply sits in the air.
  • We’ve ripped up a hole in some­thing and need to fix it.
  • There’s grass to be cut, a green­house which needs new glass, tires need­ing to be changed.
  • Books lying unread on the bed­side table and eager­ly wait­ing to be read.
  • Things that we bor­rowed and have to return, but for­get to bring with us again and again.
  • That we have thought of con­tact­ing a spe­cif­ic per­son, but haven’t got­ten around to it yet.
  • Some­thing is bro­ken and has to be hand­ed in for repair, but it nev­er seems to happen.
  • We call them leav­en; they tend to drag on end­less­ly, like a fer­ment­ing sourdough.

    And, they annoy us with­out any good rea­son. In fact, we can derive ener­gy from them by start­ing to act.

    Where does struc­ture fit in?

    One of the big ben­e­fits of good struc­ture is, as I see it, that it makes it pos­si­ble for us to regain our pow­er to act by tak­ing con­trol over the sit­u­a­tion. Good struc­ture is the tool to get us in the driver’s seat in our every­day lives, instead of rid­ing in the back seat and hope that every­thing will be okay just by itself.

    Take action

    Now, do like this:

    1. Take a blank sheet of paper
    2. Decide to write down fifty things that annoy you right now.
    3. Go ahead and write. If you’re like me, you’ll not write down as many as fifty, even though it felt like there were at least a hun­dred of them before you start­ed writ­ing. Enjoy the pleas­ant feel­ing that comes when you, after writ­ing for exam­ple twen­ty eight things, try to think of more things and you notice that your head is total­ly emp­ty (which it hasn’t been for a while).
    4. Be con­tent with the things you’ve come up with.
    5. Now decide to take care of one sour­dough per day, start­ing today. If they’re too exten­sive, choose one per week. Can you han­dle more than one a day – just go for it!
    6. To get start­ed with the first leav­en, think about what is the small­est first step you could pos­si­bly take to solve the prob­lem. Take that step.
    7. Con­tin­ue until all leav­ens are dealt with, or until you no longer think it’s a prob­lem that they aren’t completed.

    The effects

    By writ­ing down all these things, you make them tan­gi­ble. All of them will regain rea­son­able pro­por­tions and you can eas­i­ly deter­mine what pri­or­i­ty they real­ly have.

    Most like­ly, you’ll very soon feel lighter, as the yoke is lift­ed off your shoul­ders, even before all irri­ta­ble, unset­tled tasks are com­plet­ed. You have the pow­er to act rather than feel like a vic­tim of the cir­cum­stances and you are tempt­ed to exclaim, Bring it on – Now I’m ready for anything!”

    Also in terms of business

    It’s also pos­si­ble to do this in your busi­ness. A few years ago SJ (the Nation­al Swedish Rail­way) declared 100 (if I remem­ber it cor­rect­ly) con­crete things they had decid­ed to improve and pub­lished them in news­pa­pers as full-page adver­tise­ments. It con­tained things that had annoyed both the com­pa­ny and their cus­tomers. As they com­plet­ed the improve­ments, they checked them off, and then re-pub­lished the list again.

    How do you do it?

    What’s your way of regain­ing con­trol when you feel like every­thing is going wrong? 

    You are most wel­come to leave a com­ment below.