Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Jack Canfield's Unfinished Circles

I'm reading Jack Canfield's book "The Success Principles," and I wanted to share a very profound piece of advice from that book that applies so greatly to what you're going through in wedding-planning world.

When you start something new, it's like starting to draw a circle as you progress, like the hands on a clock making their way back around to the top. When the task is complete, the circle is closed, and you get (say it with me...) closure. Your mind can put the issue away with a nice sigh of satisfaction. But when you start something new -- or LOTS of something news -- and you're in-process, those circles stall at the 1/2 mark or the 3/4 mark, catching air like a parachute being pulled behind you. Now, when you are in wedding-planning zone, you have a million things on your To-Do list, and thus a million little half-circle parachutes behind you, slowing you down, making you tired. So lighten your load by seeking completion on as many tasks as you currently have open on your To-Do list. If you've addressed only half of your Save the Dates, close the circle by getting the rest of them done. That cuts the parachute free from you, and stops sucking away at all your energy. Grab a day and dedicate it to getting as many small tasks done as possible, and don't take on another big one until you've closed some of those circles.

It's amazing the way Canfield illustrates this concept, talking about the emotional energy of unfinished business -- even the smallest things like a pile of magazines waiting to be read, or calls you have to return to friends, checkbook balancing, errands to run, even clutter in your car. Following the book's example, I made a big list of all the little unfinished circles dragging behind me, and it's amazing to see how much I'm lugging around! Lots of little things to complete, like thank you notes, press mailings, confirmations of receiving press kits and samples for the handbag story, putting in my catering order for book club at my place next month, buying birthday cards for all my friends with February birthdays, returning a dress that's too big, checking in with my friend Katie in Utah to whom I'm woefully late in responding, etc.

Where to find the time to do all this? When I discover the book that reveals the secret to getting an extra two hours in every day, I'll share that one with you. But right now, I have a few things to get done before bed.