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Identify

Last week, Renee posted an article about tolerations. She walked us through how they affect our productivity and our health. She also listed three steps to take in removing tolerations. This post will take an in depth look at the first one, Identify.

If you are reading this article and hoping for some abstract tips you can passively consume, you are not going to get much from this post. If you want to get a hold on what is keeping you from really getting stuff done in your work and in your life, you are going to need to take active steps.

To really understand what you are tolerating, you first need to know what you are doing and how long it is taking you to do it. Then you need to know how certain tolerations are affecting you. We have developed a worksheet for you to use.

Scroll to the bottom of this post to download and print off our worksheet. This sheet is for one day. We suggest you track at least three days. Let’s walk through the sheet real quick.

First, list your goals for the day. Your tasks should be focused on these.

Second, track your time. You don’t have to fill out every time slot. Record it to the level of detail you feel is appropriate.

Third, reflect and list the things you accomplished. How did it match up with your original goals?

Fourth is where this exercise really gets to our subject matter today. Think about the items you were trying to accomplish today. Were there items that you did not get to accomplish? Were there some that could have been done better?

Think about what you were tolerating that made you a less effective employee. We listed a few of our example tolerations on the worksheet to get you started. Were you hampered by social media use? Were you inattentive and unfocused? You may have gotten X done, but were you thinking clearly when you did it?

Think beyond what we’ve listed. Focus on what you planned to accomplish. Don’t exclusively think about whether you accomplished something. Focus also on what level of quality you were expecting and whether your result matched that. What kept you from meeting your quantity and quality goals?

The fifth step is like the fourth. You are going to reflect on your day and how your tolerations affected it. This time, reflect for at least two sentences on how you feel after the day. After, move onto these questions.

  • Do you feel more stressed than when you started?
  • Are you disappointed in yourself?
  • Did you feel better or worse after you spent time scrolling through Facebook?
  • What items affected your motivation levels? Was it the item itself that depleted your motivation or was it the way you went about it?

Repeat these steps for as long as you need. We think that three days is the minimum to really get a feel for your patterns and tendencies.

Life is too short to be tolerating things in yourself and from others. To echo the sentiment from this series’ first post, cutting out tolerations requires both mercy and justice. It requires patience and initiative. Show mercy whether the thing you are tolerating is from yourself or from others. But also pursue justice. Next week, Kayla will be talking about listing the effects. Stay tuned and let us know what you think so far!

Note: this post walks you through using our Identify worksheet. You can download the printable sheet here, or you can download the spreadsheet and adapt it to your specific needs!

About Seth Reid

Seth is the Instructional Designer at Resolve. His job is to design courses and platforms that engage students with learning material that they can understand and effectively apply to their life and work. He's also the blogrunner here at Resolve. That mostly means that he picks the pictures for the posts. He is also an avid fan of chess and loves to study history. He is currently based in Jackson, Tennessee.

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