Weekly Practice

A New Way To Do Your To Do List

By May 14, 2017 One Comment

This week’s practice is based on the work of Jonathan Fields. If you don’t know Jonathan’s work yet, I wholeheartedly recommend it. He’s thoughtful, soulful, and smart.

His most recent book, How to Live a Good Life, offers a powerful model for composing a fulfilling, balanced life.

The big idea is this: Living a good life depends on keeping three major “buckets” of your life replenished and full.

The three buckets are:

1. Vitality

“… the state of your mind and body.” Meditation, movement, quality sleep, healthy nutrition, gratitude practices, and time in nature are some of the activities that keep this bucket full.

2. Connection

The nourishing relationships with others and with ourselves. Finding and being with our people, quality time and conversation, and giving and expressing love all fill this bucket.

3. Contribution

This is how you contribute to the world. It’s about bringing your gifts forward, using your strengths, and taking action in alignment with your values so that you make the contribution you most want to make.

Jonathan warns, “If any single bucket runs dry, you feel pain.”

He also says that “the buckets leak.” In other words, if we don’t deliberately use our actions, routines, and choices about how we spend our time and energy to keep them full, they will empty out.

I loved this model and I started using it to review and tweak my calendar and to-do list. How did my overall week look in terms of keeping each bucket full? How did each day look in terms of attending to each bucket?

Here is the practice for this week: Look at your calendar for the week. Are you going to get enough nourishment in each of the three areas?

If you are low on Connection, do something to address that – make sure to add some phone calls with loved ones, or to take lunch with a favorite coworker, or simply to pay more attention to truly connecting with family members.

If you’ve forgotten to attend to your Vitality, see what you can do to incorporate more movement or meditation or nature time – or another vitality building activity into your week.

And if you are feeling empty on Contribution – consider how you can give a little more to the people in your community, the people you meet out in the world as you move through your day. Or consider your strengths, your values – how can they come out into the world more – in simple ways – today?

Each day, look at how you are spending your time and see if you need to rebalance a little, to keep all three buckets replenished and full.

Let us know how it goes – join our private Weekly Practice Facebook group to share your experience and read others’ accounts. I’ll see you over there!

To learn more about the three buckets and how to apply them in your life, get the How to Live a Good Life book – it’s a great read.




Join the discussion One Comment

  • Moose says:

    This is gorgeous. And so helpful as I reorient my relationship to time now that I’m in my seventies and time moves through me differently.

    Thank you.

    Here’s hoping lots of folks younger than me learn to augment their more traditional “bucket lists” with this one.

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