By Jodi Leblanc, FlexGC contributor
Anytime I am feeling a sense of overwhelm, or my mind feels cluttered and I can’t think clearly, I schedule a “Life Repair Day”. The premise is, if we get the little things that are on our plate completed, we will have more time to focus on the bigger things.
I discovered the “Life Repair Day” in 2012 and have since adapted it over the years to fit my own needs with additional items and more details.
The checklist can take anywhere from a couple of hours to a full day (or sometimes longer). Previously, I would book a whole Saturday to complete the checklist, this time I decided to do my Life Repair Day in 2-hour sprints until I fully completed the checklist.
Here is the “Life Repair Day” checklist:
- Reply to every email, if a response is needed (yes, every email — for all your email addresses — work and personal)
- empty junk and spam folders
- unsubscribe from email listings you no longer read
- complete and turn off flagged emails
- respond to every text message on your phone (for those that require a reply)
- reply to every message via your social media and collaborative tools on Twitter, Facebook, Messenger, LinkedIn, Instagram, MS Teams, Slack, and any other tools you use (when required)
- purge and organize your digital clutter including stray files on your desktop computer and back up your files (that need to be)
- review, clean up and reprioritize Trello boards, notes app, OneNote, physical notebook, or wherever you keep your to-do-list/action items (if needed)
- ensure every piece of paper, envelope, and post-it note is filed or shredded/recycled (if you are not already paperless)
- ensure your system of physical files is up-to-date (if you still use paper)
- change all passwords — yes every single one, and don’t make them all the same, use a strong password format.
- Step down from activities that are no longer serving you and/or you don’t have the same energy/time to contribute to anymore
- reply to letters, cards or reach out to those you connect with via snail mail (Yes it is still a thing, and I love it!)
- Give your physical workspace a deep clean — your desk and desk drawers, mouse, keyboard, monitors, laptop, phone(s) etc.
Having just completed a “Life Repair Day” checklist this week, I automatically feel an increase in my energy levels — it is such a freeing feeling, getting caught up on all the little things — it really makes a difference. That is the same way I feel every time I complete the checklist, I think to myself why did I wait so long to schedule one? Usually my answer is that I didn’t have time, however if I don’t take the time to do this when I start to feel that sense of overwhelm and pulled in every direction, these “little things” will continue to build (and build) until I may need to schedule a “Life Repair Day” week or month.
Doing this checklist in 2-hour sprints helped me considerably this time as I didn’t have to dedicate a full day and was able to feel laser-focussed during the two-hour dedicated timeslots, without interruptions.
As an aside, don’t expect to have “inbox zero” for very long, as when we start replying to messages, we will most likely get replies back. However if we can get through a platform at a time, it will be new replies that come in and not ones that may have been around for a longer period of time. It will feel more manageable.
If you decide to complete the “Life Repair Day” checklist, let me know how you get along, and are there other items that should be added to the list?
Jodi LeBlanc is a productivity enthusiast, public servant and free agent residing in beautiful Prince Edward Island. Back in 2012 she wrote “The Full Potential of a Day” after discovering the concept of a “Life Repair Day”.