Summer is upon us, and with it a change of season. Every transition gives us the opportunity to optimize our daily rituals, systems and way of being. I think that is an exceptional opportunity.
One of my favorite things to do at "transition" time is clear up pesky energy drains and tolerations that zap precious energy. As you free up your energy, it will give you the boost you need to take inventory, re-prioritize and embrace the changes you need to finish your year successfully and peacefully. We are halfway through 2016, which makes it at great time to focus. What changes are you committed to?
Now is a great time to begin feeling more energized, creative and productive. Perhaps you wish you could double the amount of energy and time you have in a day. Or, you may be feeling sluggish and bogged down, finding it difficult keep your sanity and success soaring. Have you ever wondered why you are not getting the results you desire even though you are putting in tremendous effort? Are you sometimes wondering if a new strategy will even make a difference?
This post will share one of the best-kept secrets to my clients' success because, when they apply it, they radically free up their energy, cluttered mind and stress quotient so that they can maximize their productivity and inner peace.
We have learned to tolerate a lot. We put up with, accept, take on and are dragged down by people's behavior, situations, unmet needs, crossed boundaries, unfinished business, frustrations, problems and even our own behaviour. We are all tolerating more than we think.
Every industry has its own jargon and the coaching industry is no different. If you are not already familiar with the concept of tolerations, I will share why dedicating time each week eliminating tolerations is one of the most life-transforming commitments you can make.
What are Tolerations?
A toleration is something you have been putting up with, putting off or not dealing with — that drains your energy. It could be as simple as a button missing off your favorite shirt, a cluttered desk, or thank you cards you have been meaning to send. When that "something" isn't handled, just thinking about it zaps your already depleted energy.
Some "tolerations" are small and could be handled quickly but get put off because they are not urgent.
Procrastination is the breeding ground of tolerations. There is also a time component to tolerations. The longer a "pesky little task" is not handled, the more energy is drained.
Tolerations come in all shapes and sizes. Writing them down on a list is the first step in addressing these energy vampires and freeing up precious energy.
Types of Tolerations
I share nine types of tolerations in life so you can start tackling them one at a time and create more energy in your life. I also included examples to get you thinking.
- Clutter, Cleanliness and Organization is a big one. Take a look at the piles of papers on your desk, overstuffed closets, messy drawers, refrigerator, dirty car (inside or outside), messy garage, etc.
- Items needing fixing. Are your electronics working? Cell phone, stereo, computer? Lighting in office? Button missing from favorite shirt? Shoes needing polish? Scan your office and home environments…is anything broken?
- Maintenance Items. Oil changed in car, teeth cleaned, light bulb replaced, clothes to dry cleaner, AC or heat serviced, battery replaced in phone or clock, schedule haircut, etc.
- Unfinished Projects or Lingering To-Do's. Thank you notes to send, a proposal or presentation to prepare, shopping, update resume, register for Toastmasters, etc.
- Comfort Items. What are you tolerating in your environment that is affecting your comfort? Example: Not having enough heat in the office (solution: new heater, or clothes to dress more warmly), no A/C (Solution: buy one, get a fan, wear shorts), loud working environment (Solution: noise-canceling headphones)
- Relationship Tolerations. Does someone needlessly swearing, gossiping or over-doing sarcasm to the point of annoyance? Does someone leave socks on ground, toilet seat up or wet towels on the bed? Is your spouse constantly criticizing, whining or withholding affection? How do you address relationship tolerations? Make a request. Set a boundary. Shift your mindset. Get support.
- Bad Habits. Yes, sometimes we tolerate our own bad habits, which interferes with productivity and deeper fulfillment. Examples: Watching too much TV, smoking, caffeine addiction, excessive alcohol, being late to appointments, oversleeping, staying up late, indulging in negative thoughts, etc.
- Health Issues. Not attending to your health is another type of toleration. Examples: Healing an injury, losing weight, not exercising, not having the right foods on hand, skipping meals, postponing a mammogram or other important medical exams, etc.
- BIGGER Tolerations. This last category is for those nagging issues that do not quite fit into the others, and generally are not simple fixes. Examples: A challenging boss, client or co-worker; a chronic injury or illness, losing that last 10 to 20 pounds, cramped office space, not enough closet space, etc. For BIGGER Tolerations you will need to get more creative, enlist support or think outside the box. Still recognizing any toleration allows your subconscious to start attracting a solution.
Before you pull out your sheet of paper and start writing, here is another secret:
It is not about handling ALL of your tolerations at once–that would be overwhelming. Just focus on one to five tolerations to handle each week. Progress happens over time. Your Tolerations List should free you up–not bog you down. Just handling one per week for a year is 52 energy-draining tolerations done!
Often tolerations start getting handled almost automatically once they are identified. My clients who consistently commit to handling a few tolerations weekly, quickly discover how simple it is to free up energy.
Commit to zapping at least one toleration each week. Soon it will become a life habit.