Are you helping other people too much?

Try this simple but effective exercise to see if you can reduce the effort levels on some of your less-essential tasks


Are you helping other people too much?

The things we do for others.

Take a piece of paper and divide it into four quadrants. Label the quadrants as follows:

  • Things I do for other people in my life
  • Things I do for myself
  • Things other people in my life do for me
  • Things other people in my life do for themselves

Fill in all the quadrants with everything you can think of. Do not stop to make judgements or edit your responses – write without overthinking.

Have a look at the completed exercise and consider the following questions:

  • What do I notice?
  • What changes could I make?
  • What changes could I ask others to make?
  • What difference would these changes make to my life?

The magic 10% energy-saver

Think of yourself as an energy-saving light bulb. Make a list of all the things that you do at home and at work. Consider what the impact would be of reducing the effort you make by 10 per cent in each of these tasks.

Highlight the tasks in which you could relax your effort or standards without making a significant difference to the outcome. Define what 10 per cent less would actually mean in each of these areas. Imagine how much time and energy you would save by making these small changes.

Remember your core values

If you are leading a busy life, it can be easy to forget what is most important to you. Our core values drive us and, if we are not living a life that meets our values, we will feel unhappy and unfulfilled. Core values represent your highest priorities, deeply held beliefs and guiding principles in life.

Make a list of your core values, or what you feel you must have in your life for you to feel fulfilled, happy and true to yourself.

Look at the list and ask yourself:

  • How well are my core values being met?
  • What is the impact of this on me?
  • What positive changes can I make to get back to what I want?
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