Our expectations of ourselves are unrealistic and we don’t focus on doing things that are worthy of our time. 

I came across a great article in the NY Times entitled “How To Do Less And Achieve More” by Tiffany Dufu.   This seems like a universally desirable goal because, who would NOT want to do less and achieve more? She opened the article saying that our expectations of ourselves are totally unrealistic regarding what we can accomplish (me nodding vigorously) and we must decide what activities are really worthy of our time (Aha moment).  The idea here is that if you look at what matters most to you and compare it to what you actually do on a daily basis, you may not be making the most of your time.

The To-Do List

Most of us have physical or mental to-do lists that are not necessarily in order of what’s most important to accomplish.  What I mean is that if I have a list that includes “get bananas”, “buy Jackson new underwear”, “update my work website” or “get colonoscopy” all of these carry the same “weight” on the list. There is no particular order or sense of urgency about anything and if you are like me, I go for the low hanging fruit.  That sense of accomplishment by putting a checkmark next to “get bananas” is certainly alluring, but was that the most pressing thing for me to do today? 

Now some could argue that getting my son new underwear could take precedence over the other options listed depending on the situation.  Does he have “no” underwear at present? Is he leaving for camp tomorrow and the state of underwear has just not passed the “for public consumption” muster?  That’s just a hypothetical example that by coincidence totally happened.   

Figure out your To-Don’t List

When you think about it, we end up doing a lot of things that are seriously a massive waste of time.  Take what I did last Thursday on my day off from work….

  • Checked Facebook every 12 minutes and liked everything everyone posted
  • Google searched “baby kittens eating ice cream” and how many times Rafa Nadal won the French Open.  
  • Bought crap off instagram that was about 100 times more expensive than what I would ever pay for in real life. And seriously, will that 300 dollar bottle of shampoo really create thicker, longer, lusher hair?  (I’ll let you know in 3 to 6 months as directed on the bottle)
  • Responded to every text and email immediately and actively ignored the people with whom I was having lunch
  • Deleted emails without looking at them, particularly the ones with the subject line “Do Not Delete This Email”
  • Went clothes shopping despite the fact that I literally cannot squeeze one more millimeter of crap into my closet and I hate clutter and I hate shopping
  • Binge-watched “This is Us” until 2 AM and wondered why I needed a nap at 11 AM

How To Figure Out Which Balls To Drop

So now we come to the action part of our post.  How to figure out what things you should not bother doing and what things you should be doing.

Write down what matters most to you

  • Spending meaningful time with the kids
  • Self Care 
  • Expanding a skill set to advance in a personal goal or career
  • Volunteerism
  • Planning a family vacation to somewhere special
  • Getting a better, more inspiring job
  • Make more money

Now write down the tasks on your to-do list — Be specific. 

  • Go Grocery shopping
  • Make dinner
  • Go through work emails constantly
  • Finish watching The Housewives of Wherever (thankfully have never watched those)
  • Doing laundry and folding clothes
  • Complete a recertification for my medical license
  • Play Tennis 
  • Read the book club book

For each task, ask the following questions:

1. Is this an essential task, relative to what matters most to me?

Finish watching Housewives…no

Re-certify medical license….yes

2. Do I do this really well with little effort?

Finish watching Housewives…yes

Re-certify medical license….no

3. Is this something only I can do — or could it be delegated to someone else?

Finish watching Housewives…yes
Re-certify medical license….yes

4. Does this task bring me joy?

Finish watching Housewives…no
Re-certify medical license….well, being able to continue working so I can keep amazon in business brings me joy, so…..I guess…yes

If you answer “yes” to three or more of these questions for any task, it probably represents your best use and you’d be wise to keep it on your list. If you’ve answered “no” three or more times for any task, it’s probably a ball you can drop. 

Re-certifying medical license gets 3 yeses and Housewives got only 2. So.. Housewives it is!!!!! Kidding……Guess I’ll go renew my medical license.

Give it a try and see what happens.  Leave your comments if you find this helpful!!

👉 5 Ways To Reduce Your Risk Of Heart Disease (really 7)

Here are the most important things to do to avoid getting heart disease.

Don’t smoke, actively or passively. Your chance of a heart attack doubles if you smoke as few as one to four cigarettes per day.  Avoid 2nd hand smoke as well. 

Take control of your blood sugar. High blood sugar creates inflammation. Inflammation creates plaque in your arteries. Avoid this.

Take Vitamin D and Vitamin K2 to keep your blood pressure in control and your blood sugar normal. Aim for a serum level of between 40 to 80 of vitamin D and be sure that you take about 1 to 5 mg of Vitamin K2 daily. Unless you are on a blood thinner in which case you must clear this with your doctor.

Exercise. Get at least 30 minutes per day of moderate-intensity exercise, such as brisk walking, most days. Fit even more activity into your life: Take the stairs rather than the elevator, do yard work, park farther from your destination and walk.  Aim for 10,000 steps a day apart from your exercise for the day. Sitting is the new smoking. 

Eat Healthy.  Studies at Harvard Medical School have identified several crucial ingredients of a heart-healthy diet — Low lectin fruits and vegetables, nuts (about 5 ounces per week), healthy fats like avocado, olive oil, coconut oil, nuts and fatty fish (such as wild salmon).  Significantly reduce sugar, artificial sweeteners, preservatives, food dyes, processed carbohydrates and conventionally grown animal products (meat, dairy and eggs). Aim for grass-fed, grass finished, wild, organic, no hormone, no antibiotics, no grain or corn fed animals.  

Reduce stress and treat depression. Your risk increases if you’re depressed or chronically stressed. Stress-reducing strategies include exercise, quality sleep, relaxation techniques, and meditation. 

Try to maintain or achieve certain body measurements.  Below is a list of 3 measurements that are associated with reduced risk of heart disease.  Aim for the range listed next to each risk factor.

Risk Factor and Goal

Please Share the Health if you liked what you read.!!!  Meaning share the page and spread the word!

For more information about my wellness programs and my practice, check out my website www.drsadaty.com.  Look! You are already here. 

Ready for the legal disclaimer? Information offered here is for educational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice. As with any health recommendation, please contact your doctor to be sure any changes you wish to consider are safe for you!