How to stop tolerating those things we find annoying

As entrepreneurs, career professionals and business owners, it's not unusual for us to feel overwhelmed by the many things we must do and, particularly as the nights draw in, there seem less time than ever. The busyness of Christmas approaching doesn’t help much either! There seems too much to do; our minds feel cluttered and it's an effort to stay focused on the important things.

WHAT WORKS FOR ME: Writing down those things I put up with - what I call my "tolerations" - helps to raise my awareness of where I’m spending too much time or not enough, and where I can take some type of action to improve things. Regularly reviewing this list helps me to decide where I can delegate, ditch, divide up, or resolve these tolerations.

WHAT NEXT? Make a list of what you're putting up with in different areas of your life: at the office, in your home or in your business. Usually it's the things that keep us awake at night! It might be the lack of business processes and systems, other people's rude behaviour, that pile of "stuff" lurking in the corner, neglected thank-you notes, unhealthy boundaries at work, overdue bills, forgotten invoices and receipts, poor self-care, procrastination and so on!

ACTION: identify the things you're tolerating and list them. Best to stop if you get to around the 20 mark otherwise you’re in danger of feeling too overwhelmed to get started!

Pick ONE toleration TODAY and decide to take an action. To encourage success, make it a SMART action:

  • S = be specific - being tidier is not as good as saying: I will tidy up my desk and the shelves.
  • M = you can measure it e.g. I will not look any emails before I get to work at 11am.
  • A = attainable - ask yourself: is this action acceptable for the time and effort involved? Usually          it is otherwise it wouldn’t be on the tolerations list in the first place!
  • R = it’s a realistic goal: think small steps of success as these will motivate you.
  • T = time frame - when will you complete this action?

So, today’s action is _______________________________________________________ .

Work through your list in your own time and celebrate some of your achievements along the way!


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