091: Tranquility by Tuesday Book Review

Welcome to Episode 91 of Overburdened No More.

Today we’re going to be talking about our 1st quarter Book Club Book, Tranquility by Tuesday by Laura Vanderkam.  I’m a big fan and I hope you are becoming one too.

So many great rules to try that are meant to help you make the time for the things that matter most to you.

You all know that I’m a big fan of that!**

It’s part of one of the 3 systems that I teach in the Uniquee Connection Method.

If you haven’t taken Uniquee Connection yet, I highly recommend it.

You can register at http://www.hunkeedori.com/courses   I’ll leave the link in the show notes too!

Let’s start from where I left off in Episode 84, where I reviewed Rules 1-4.  Go back and listen to that episode after this one if you missed it.

Rule #5: CREATE A BACK-UP SLOT

I’ve been teaching this concept for a few years in my Uniquee Connection class so reading it in a book by an author I really like made me feel pretty good about what I’ve been teaching. 

Things rarely go according to plan but it doesn’t feel as stressful when you’ve already worked it into your plan. 

Because I’m a planner, and the people closest to me know that they sometimes tell me that I need to be more flexible.  But because my planning is done with flexibility in mind, I just smile because they don’t even know that I have been doing it that way all along.   

Creating a back-up spot for the things that matter STARTS with figuring out what matters.  This is where planning becomes more than putting a to-do list onto your schedule.  When you define your priorities FIRST, it makes it easier to know WHAT can go on your schedule.  The very first free offer I ever made was all about this.  When I was coming out of my ‘depression fog” as I’ve come to call it, I realized that my life was all about organizing everyone else’s to-do’s onto my list.  So I decided that I would decide what was most important to me and say goodbye to everything else.  This isn’t as brutal as it sounds.  It turns out, a lot of the things I was doing, we’re my priorities, I was just looking at them from a different perspective.  I’d love to share that worksheet with you.  It’s called “Connect to Your Time”. You can grab it by going to hunkeedori.com/TIME.

If you’d like to dive in even deeper with me, I teach a mini-workshop on this too.

Register at hunkeedori.com/ConnectTime

It’ll walk you through step-by-step exactly how to define YOUR top priorities.

I was excited to see her take on this concept too.

Rule #6: ONE BIG ADVENTURE, ONE LITTLE ADVENTURE

“We don’t ask “Where did the time go?” when we remember where the time went.”

This is totally up my ally!  I am all in when it comes to being more intentional about the way I spend my time.  I feel like it’s my time in life to be able to have a little bit more of a say on when I do what I do and more choices of what to do.

That being said, I realize it’s not always easy to do it.

I do like this rule because it puts more emphasis on what I am choosing to do.

She teaches in this rule that when we feel more intensity in the passing moments, we’re more likely to remember them.  AND we hold on to memories more when they nudge us from what is our normal everyday type activities.  So, when the pace of our day gets faster, and we have more memories during a certain space of time, then that time feels longer, instead of shorter.  That’s what slows the progression of time.  I know.  It’s kind of one of those things you have to think about more, but it’s actually true.

When you sit and watch TV, what memories is your brain going to hold on to?

Compare that to going out and watching a sunset? Or going to an art show? Or going on a hike you haven’t done before?  Which memories is your brain going to hold onto?  Those catchable moments have more traction to hold on to?

The ones that are different that the others.

Does that help?

So, she introduces the rule of creating novel experiences every week to expand time.

She doesn’t say they have to be exotic vacations for this to work.

She defines a Big adventure to be something that takes a few hours and a little adventure would take an hour or so, just as long as it’s something you don’t “normally” do.

I’ve decided that I will keep a running list of ideas of BIG and LITTLE adventures on my phone.

And add these into my blank spaces on my schedule every Friday afternoon when I do my weekly planning session.

You can argue that you just don’t have the time.

What are you arguing for?  More time to waste?

But I’d like you to consider, as I did, what do you want to feel every week?

More adventures or more wasting of time that just vanishes into nothingness.

Maybe I’ll choose adventures more often when I at least try to plan them in.

I’ll shoot for 80% of the weeks.  Anything close to that, I’ll consider a win!

Rule #7: TAKE ONE NIGHT FOR YOU

“Committing to fun means the fun happens.”

Commiting to one hour outside of the house that involves other people is the definition of this rule.  And it doesn’t have to be at night.

I was relieved when I realized that it doesn’t have to be at night.

Just something once a week just for me.  Dreaming about how to make this happen was something I used to do when I had a house full of little kids.

Maybe you’re still in that position and you’ll have to work with your spouse or a good friend to take turns so you can do this.  Maybe you can actually pay for a babysitter.

For me, I have chosen to do something active during my one hour.

A friend and I were playing Pickleball every week and that was my one thing.

That isn’t happening every week any more so I’m having to reevaluate this one.

I’ve got some ideas going, but nothing set yet.

I know how good I feel when I make this a priority so I’m going to make it happen.

Rule #8: BATCH THE LITTLE THINGS

“Tasks expand to fill the available space.  When we give them less time, they take less time.

I didn’t believe this at first, but when I started watching for it, I found it to be true.

I can actually push myself a bit more to make things happen when I decided ahead of time how much time I could give to a given task.

Take this podcast for example.

I do four episodes at a time in what I call a Batch.

I do the writing of 4 episodes in a certain block of time.

Then I do the editing in another block.

It really has stretched me to get more done in less time.

This book pointed out to me that sometimes we think we are more productive when we are crossing lots of little things off a list, when spending lots of time on big things feels less productive.  I’ve caught myself thinking that too.  And sometimes it’s true when you have lots of little things to do.  But, I can batch little things into a smaller block of time and save bigger blocks of time for things that take longer. 

What’s helped me the most with trying out this rule is paying more attention to where I let my attention go.  Then, I can plan for all the things that need to get done, assign them a time where I do similar things together, and spend less time jumping from one thing to another.

Like laundry.  I have one day when I do laundry instead of spreading it out over a whole week.  Then I fold all the laundry at once.  I don’t have to do laundry again until the next week.  Same with ironing.  One block of time instead of every time I need a shirt.  More focused blocks of time is actually more productive than little spurts here and there.

Give this one a try and get back to me on what you think.

Read the book for this tip alone.  She presents it really well.

Rule #9: EFFORTFUL BEFORE EFFORTLESS

This was the last rule and it made me think quite a bit.

Her beginning quote was “Leisure time is too precious to be totally leisurely about leisure.

Say what?

I have to plan my leisure too?

Ok, so I do that too.

I’m crazy planner crazy and I’m not afraid to admit it.

That drives non-planner folks crazy.

But my people get me!

Think of the difference between the two as the difference between reading a book vs. scrolling on social media and reading the captions.

Filling the small moments of time when you get to rest with reading a book you have chosen that seems interesting to you, which equals effortful, is still a leisure activity. 

Scrolling social media is leisure but requires no effort.

Which feels more emotionally and intellectually satisfying?

Be honest!

So carry a book with you if that’s your chosen way to fill your leisure time.

These small chunks of time can really add up!

Then, when you’ve read what you wanted to in a day, scroll away!

I think my favorite thing she said about this rule is that when you do effortful fun before effortless fun, you get to do both!

If you choose to scroll first, you get sucked in and some how the time is gone.

The truth hurts sometimes doesn’t it!!!

Maybe your fun leisure time activity is LEGOS.

Or perhaps a puzzle.

You can do those first before the scroll sucks you in.

But you can do both when you make a choice of how you really want to spend your leisure time first.

I highly recommend this book.

It really got me thinking about what makes me feel better about how I use my time.

If you missed my review of the first half of this book which I went over rules 1-4, go back and listen to Episode 84.  Some of my listeners said they enjoyed listening to the rules even if they had no desire to read the book.  That’s ok too.

I’m so thankful you decided to listen to this episode today.

I really do believe in paying closer attention to how we spend our time.

It is a big part of how I have let go of a lot of things that added to my burden.

Make sure to share this episode with a friend if you find that it has helped you.

I’d also like to invite you to take me up on that free workbook on Connecting to Your time.

Remember, you can get that at hunkeedori.com/time.

If you’d like to take a really great class on how to dive in even deeper, go register for Connect to Your Time at hunkeedori.com/ConnectTime

I’ll put both links in the show notes too.

Thanks for joining me here today and remember:

I see you.  I understand how hard you’re trying, and I’d like to help however I can.

Have a wonderful day and I’ll see you back here next week.

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091: Tranquility by Tuesday Book Review
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