As you think over the last year, consider nagging annoyances that subconsciously suck energy from you. These are called “tolerations”; pesky annoyances that might have sat on the “honey-do-list” for 6 months.  An “area or issue” you notice and always think, “I really need to get that fixed” or “I have to do something about _________” but day in and day out, it remains something that bugs you but you have just not been able to take care of.

First, brain dump.  Make a list of 30 things that you have been tolerating in the past year. Put anything from little to enormous.  i.e. a pile of clothes on the floor, stack of unfiled papers, a chip in the windshield, a broken appliance, a messy car, a bag that is ripped, dust on the side of your stairs, full bay of the garage, cutter, full e-mail box, squeaky door, email bin of 3000 emails, 4 drawer file cabinet you never reference, etc.  Do not stop until you have 30 things. List things in “bit size” projects ( the basement shelves, basement closet, basement wreck room vs. purge the basement)

Once done, use as a reference for your overall planning, but post the list on your refrigerator and pick one item at a time to get off the list. Do not start another item until you have finished or done everything possible for that item. Schedule time daily or weekly to work on the toleration list.  It will go quickly at first as you take care of the 10-minute jobs and then become slower as you take care of the more monumental jobs – but just keep working at it. When you are done, people feel freedom and space as an incredible reward; you might want to start again!  This strategy will give you extra time and energy in your life for the next year!  It is a great annual habit. It could take you all year to complete, but when you do, I promise you will be lighter and happier!

The Secret of
Leadership is