How long is your busy list? You know the one I mean: the list of gifts to get, recitals to attend, parties to stop by, business decisions to make before 2019, cards to mail, presents to wrap, meetings to schedule, decorations to finish — that list. Does it feel like a hamster wheel you’re running on? Getting stressed about it? Get off! Untangle your tinsel baby. Do this one thing and upgrade your entire holiday giving strategy.
Put a bow on your time.
We’ve been talking for the past few weeks about choosing an “upgrade” for your life and your family. There are some clear steps to grabbing this upgrade. And there are some obstacles you can avoid to this upgrade. You simply must resolve to learn more about the unique success blueprint available for the Real You.
And all wrapped up in the same idea is an upgrade you can choose for one of the best gifts you can ever give others: your personal time. Not just for the holiday season, this giving strategy is something you can do all year long. I’ve lost count of how many research articles, books, podcasts, TedTalks, etc. that attempt to address the deficits we are creating in our relationships.
Have you noticed it too? The high-tech, low-touch habits we are adopting set themselves in direct opposition to a basic and powerful human need: connection.
- Every human wants to be understood.
- Everyone wants to be listened to.
- Each of us needs our thoughts to be taken seriously.
Authentic connection is so important that it has the power to transform past, present and future. To sum it up:
YOUR TIME + CONNECTION = BEST GIFT EVER!
Untangle your tinsel and make a “ten (10)-list”!
So, how do you wrap up 10 minutes? And what the heck is a “10-List?”
So glad you asked! A 10-List is ten ways you can “gift” at least ten minutes of your personal time and focused attention to someone else. Here are some ideas in no particular order. (Gift wrapping is optional).
- 10 uninterrupted minutes of live face time.
- Write out “10 things I love about you” on some fancy stationery.
- Ask 10 questions to get to know the person better.
- Pre-screen 10 life hacks that actually work and could simplify their week.
- Find 10 things to make them laugh (very effective, stress-reducing medicine).
- Come up with 10 ideas for a future date night.
- 10 WOW-worthy gift ideas that help them stay in front of all those birthdays.
- Make a playlist with your 10 favorite songs or buy a gift card so they can share a playlist of their favorites with you.
- Create a word cloud with 10 quotes or words that capture what’s cool about them.
- Print and arrange 10 pictures of them that you love (and include why you love them).
I bet you can make ten more 10-lists once you get started. However, the idea is to keep it simple, thoughtful, and generous in spirit. Remember, your time is really just code for “YOU.”
Find time by taking nonessentials off your busy list.
You might be asking, “How the heck am I going to find more time?” That’s a great question! Remember that “busy” list I asked you about at the beginning of this article? Write down 10 actions or activities you can discontinue. Surely you can think of things you’ve done out of habit but aren’t truly necessary. Or perhaps, there are activities you try to keep doing simply because you believe others expect you to. And here’s another possibility. We often do things for others that bring us some form of satisfaction but aren’t truly something they appreciate as much as you do.
For example, I used to spend hours making my family an annual calendar with pictures from the previous year’s family adventures. I loved it. But one year, I ran out of time and couldn’t do it. I felt so guilty and bummed. However, no one said a word. They didn’t miss it at all! Turns out, that calendar was probably more for me.
So there you have it. Make your 10-List and upgrade your holiday giving. The hard part is narrowing your list down to a manageable number of people to gift your time. It’s safe to say, most of us underestimate just how valuable our time and attention is. But authentic community is built one connection at a time.
Go ahead and ditch the temptation to be stingy! Put a bow on 10 minutes and watch your little community spring to life.