Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Slice of Life: Start a Contribution List 7 of 31

For the month of March, I'll be writing with the Slice of Life community.  Disclaimer:  I'll be writing every day so the writing will be a bit unpolished most days.  Thanks to Two Writing Teachers for bringing this community together and for inspiring me to try to find the stories that surround me each day.  

Looking at my calendar for the next two weeks, I try to take a few deep breaths and gather some perspective.  How did it get so packed?  There are upcoming professional development meetings, deadlines for communications, and building team meetings among a myriad of to-dos.  I'm excited about all of it, but I know there's a lot of work to do be done to get it all right.  It's times like these that it seems like there is never enough time in the day.

Time to return to my contribution list.  

I first learned about a contribution list when reading Option B:  Facing Adversity, Building Resilience, and Finding Joy by Sheryl Sandberg and Adam Gant.  I won't put it nearly as eloquently as they did, but essentially a contribution list is a list you keep that shows things you've done across the day.  These contributions are steps forward in the day.  When recording items on my contribution list, I try to first list things I've done that in some way contributed to others or to the bigger picture of the work I do.  For me, it reminds me that while there will always be things to do, I also got a lot done.

As someone who has been known to write things that are done on a to-do list just so I can cross them off, a contribution list changes my focus from the hard climb up the mountain to the downhill coast of things accomplished in a day.  It takes that overwhelming feeling of not being able to do enough and puts it into perspective.  Each evening, in my Passion Planner, I grab my pen and write three contributions for the day.  Interestingly, most days I'm selecting from far more than three so I just choose those that may have had the greatest impact.

If you're finding it a bit overwhelming to look at your calendar, or if life just seems a little hard to manage, pick up your pen and start a contribution list.  You might be surprised; a simple list can make a big difference.  


10 comments:

  1. Oh, how I LOVE this idea! A contribution list?!?!? You can be sure I'll be making one today. Powerful and helpful. Thank you so much for the idea!!!

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  2. I definitely need a contribution list! And I want to know more about OPTION B. Is it a worthwhile read?

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  3. I’m fascinated by the perspective a contributions list offers. I swore I’d never read a book by Sheryl Sandberg, but I might go to contribute my words to the collection I’ve already eaten.

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  4. Sounds like a great way to shift perspective- I should give it a try. Good luck with your busy days ahead- they are lucky to have your contributions.

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  5. Interesting Idea. I have a big to do list - but I choose a manageable number of steps or items to get done each day - almost prioritize. I reflect each night and choose the items for next day. Typically 3-4 items - sometimes more depending on complexity and the time I have. I might try contribution idea -- what is a passion planner??? Can you slice about that?
    Clare

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  6. This is new to me. It makes sense and seems entirely doable. Thanks for sharing.

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  7. I love this concept! My to-dos are always humungous - that's actually why I bought my bullet journal -- to keep track of everything I have to do. But reframing that to "what did I contribute today?" seems like a game-changer. Thanks, as always, for making me reflect.

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  8. YES! This is such a genius concept. Seems simple in theory but the to-do's undone are always unnerving. Thanks for sharing this slice!

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  9. That book has been on my list for a long time!! I love the idea 1) of a passion planner (must know more about that!) but also 2) of the contribution list. This is something I will incorporate into my practice daily, as this year has been a struggle! Thanks!

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  10. I love the idea of a contribution list! What a great way to feel like you've done something without adding completed items to the to-do list (I do this all the time too).

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