Have you heard of the “what went well” concept? Mostly used in workplaces – specifically Monday meetings – the idea is that you kick off your workday, week or month on a positive note, by recapping the actions and strategies which are getting results.

This is a nice idea, and everyone should definitely think about trying it at work and in the personal sphere. But it’s not my challenge  this month.

In fact you might be surprised, considering the overall positive vibe of this blog, that this week I am diving into the messy spaces. The things that are not only not going well, but which can actually hinder progress.

As with most of my pieces, I have been inspired to apply techniques I have learnt from experts in their respective fields. In this case I have been positively triggered by the science-based techniques in this book by Bonnie St.John.

I am challenging myself to set a What’s Not Going Well list and start crossing those bad boys off – would you like to join me?

Don’t be scared, because the “not going well” things I am referring to are usually those really small irritating things that are so easily fixed. It’s just that when thrown in life’s Thermomix of priorities they get pumped to the bottom of the list so often it feels like you get a bruise just thinking about them.

The trick I have worked out is to:

  1. Write down what some of the most annoying ‘pain points’ that are killing your vibe or goals each week
  2. Make the solutions part of other things you already need to do as part of your day/ week/ bigger priorities.

Here are some examples, with suggestions on how to sort them using step 2 above.

  1. Something you need to use every day is broken/ less than functional.

Example challenge: You run everyday, but you only have one cap that fits and the band at the back is broken so it slides off, making a fave activity less reinvigorating.

How to sort it: Ask yourself where can you pick up a new one of this ‘broken/ non functional thing’ that is on the way to work/working out or available at a stop you already make.

Example solution: Grab a new cap next time you refuel. Yep – one place that always has caps is the servo. They may not be the most on trend light-grey-suede-logo-stamped style,  but they’ll get you through until your fresh new Christmas cap order comes through.

  1. Daily habits are preventing you from eating well (and cutting into your budget).

Example challenge: No matter how early you get up, there always seems to be that one morning you’re racing out the door with just enough time to get to your desk before the boss, but not enough time for the satisfying, delish brekkie you deserve.

How to sort it: Ask yourself what is healthy, portable has a generous perish date, and that you could make part of your weekly shopping run. Also think about where you can immediately stash it – whether that’s at work or in your “porta spaces” as I like to call them; your handbag or car.

Example solution: Get some oats sachets with every supermarket shop to throw in your handbag or work bag. Yes they’re a bit more expensive, but less so than the overpriced smoothie you’ll be smashing at the first chance you get.

  1. That one area that seems to fall off the weekly cleaning list.

Example: You never seem to have time to clean inside your car. Then you get asked to pick up a VIP from the airport…

How to sort: ask yourself when could you fit this in as part of what you already have to do on a daily basis, such as waiting for a washing cycle/ something to cook/ boiling the kettle.

Example: when you’re taking the rubbish out, take your car keys and some disinfectant wipes and grab those museli bar wrappers on the way down, giving the console and surfaces a quick wipe before you shut the door. Disinfectant wipes are a handy thing to keep in consoles, handbag… oh,  just in general.

  1. You always forget this one thing and it throws your day

Example challenge: Your phone or laptop charger (I can see you nodding!)

How to sort: There is no way around this. You need to add a second one to your life. Ask yourself, how can I integrate sorting a spare ‘xyz” into my schedule; aka how can I package sorting this out into what I already need to do? (see the pattern here?)

Example solution: Ask your workplace to provide a batch of spare chargers (they are a tax write off for the company and you need these items to do your job). Mark them up with stickers – as they do belong to your whole team.  You can feel great that you’ve helped company productivity and morale as well as your own stress levels. Gotta love that. Alternatively, get your own spares, throw them in a pencil case and keep in an aforementioned porta-space.

Now I’d love to hear from you, what are those little daily bugbears you’re keen to tackle?


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