How To Do A Life Audit
If you don’t genuinely love what you do, don’t really dig the people you do it with and feel like there’s a disparity between the private ‘you’ and the public ‘you’ — that’s a cocktail for not feeling happy, a loss of control and underwhelmed in general
Stuck in a rut? Not ‘feeling’ it? You might benefit from a Life Audit.
Keep on track by identifying the people who contribute to your ace-ness — and who suck the living mojo out of you.
Like ‘fetch’, happy doesn’t just ‘happen’. There’s a ton of elements that go into it — how you’re feeling, the people you surround yourself with, the types of things you’re doing, where you’re doing it and with whom — all have an impact.
To eliminate the stuff that isn’t making you feel great, you’ve first got to identify the problem. You have to eliminate the stuff that doesn’t make you happy to make room for the stuff that does.
The brain can only handle so much info until it reaches capacity and it loses the ability to either
- take on new information
- retain perspective
- be open / responsive to new ideas
ENERGISERS VS ENERGY SUCKERS
What you want to do is create a map for when you feel energised vs not energized, and what contributes to that.
A — energizers
B — energy suckers
C — (keep this column empty — I’ll tell you why later).
Under these two columns, create two sections:
1. People (people you’d interact with in any given week)
2. Activities (work, home, play — anything you actively DO).
3. Items (physical objects — I’ll show you why this is important shortly).
Then, list every possible person, activity you interact with on any given week into either an energizing activity, or energy sucking. Consider how you feel before, during and after dealing with each person, completing an activity, or thought process.
- Energizing people : friends, collaborators, workout buddies— these are my people. They bring out the best in me. I feel energized after hanging with these people.
- Energizing suckers: grumpy barista at local cafe, passive aggressive colleague — energy suckers. I feel tired after interactions with these people. Yawn.
- Activity energizers: early morning coffee meetings, presenting, meeting passionate people, exercise: energizing. I feel great before, during and after each of these activities.
- Activity suckers: doing things that are either not ‘super productive or super pleasurable‘, cooking anything that takes longer than 20 minutes. These activities make me less happy by the minute.
ITEMS + ASSOCIATION = LIMITING FEELING
Then, — and this may sound a little nuts — in the ‘item’ section, pop items that you have in your life that make you feel happy and items in your life that really don’t sit right with you — and why. You’d be surprised at how a physical object can impact your overall happiness — they all tie into a thought pattern. Here’s a few examples:
- Item energizers: my fave leather jacket, a scented candle a client gave me, a framed photo of my baby niece. I feel happy when I look at these things.
- Item suckers: the broken part of my home desk (everyday I catch my jacket on it), the big blue IKEA bag that I’m using to store my evergrowing collection of workout gear. I feel frustrated when I look at these things. They make me feel disorganised, which contributes to feeling frustrated, and so on.
IDENTIFY THE FREQUENCY
Next step is to identify the frequency of your interaction with said person / activity — and the level of energizing — or sucking they provide.
The objective of this is to map out exactly how much of your time are with the suckers — and where the opportunities are to inject more excellent people and activities in your life.
Quickly list how much of your time is spent with said person / activity. For example, if you see you’re spending the bulk of your early morning coffees, the start to your day, feeling annoyed at the grumpy barista — you can safely go and find a new local cafe. Easy fix, less headache, more happy.
YOU GOT OPTIONS.
Now you have your list of energisers and suckers. Flick to the suckers section (where you now have the amount of time spent). This is where you actively propose a solution.
These can be as small or big as you like — any change is good. If the definition of insanity is doing the same things, expecting different results, the solution will be pretty clear. By proposing a solution — no matter how big or small — you’ll feel instantly — even just slightly — happier).
Sucker: negative coworker who loves to complain.
Frequency: I have to sit next to them every day.
- I could move to a different desk.
- I could propose I ‘hot desk’ once a week to work with other areas of the business.
- I could buy some noise cancelling headphones.
- I could let them know I have a big deadline and will be free to chat after 5pm (and leave immediately at 4.55pm).
THIS ONLY WORKS IF YOU DECIDE YOU WANT TO FEEL BETTER THAN YOU DO NOW.
If you don’t genuinely love what you do, don’t really dig the people you do it with and feel like there’s a disparity between the private ‘you’ and the public ‘you’ — that’s a cocktail for not feeling happy, a loss of control and underwhelmed in general.
Studies have shown happier people are the most productive, fulfilled and inspired. You will only do your best work if you feel the best possible version of yourself. Decide, make that commitment to yourself, put yourself and how you feel first — then do it, already.