Last Updated on December 15, 2022 by Kayla
Over the past two weeks, I’ve had a hard time managing my focus and getting back into a productive routine. It got me thinking about a workshop from my previous clinical job. The presenters spread out white and blue poker chips on a large table. Two participants raced to see how many poker chips they could pick up in one minute. Come to find out, the blue chips were worth 10 points while the white chips were only worth one point. No one won.
Blue chips vs. white chips
Now imagine your priorities splayed in front of you like poker chips. The white poker chips are the small distractions – not really worth a whole lot. They are the things that occupy your time but don’t get you anywhere. It could be tasks like meticulously cleaning, swiping through TikTok, or planning for the apocalypse.
On the other hand are the blue poker chips. They are the big things that fill your cup and make you feel whole. Think about time with family and friends, self-care, or spending time in nature. Unfortunately, these are much easier to put on the back burner. Why take a bath when I can sweep the kitchen? Or why sit down and read when I can plan meals for the hockey tournament this weekend?
Stop pushing your blue chips aside and letting the white chips take up all your time. Make your blue chips a priority, whether it’s health, family, or your career. Make time for the BIG BLUE chips and let go of the WIMPY WHITE chips. There will always be crumbs on the counter to wipe up – let them go! Action expresses priorities!
Consider your blue chips. If you had a finite number of poker chips in front of you, what would you be willing to risk and go “all-in” on? I would imagine that you’d be willing to risk a lot in order to protect your blue or “big ticket” chips. However, are these the things you are prioritizing?
The is a difference between busy work and meaningful work. Are you “too busy”? Or is the truth that your action just doesn’t align with your priorities?
Words from the Wise
“Action expresses priorities.”
– Mahatma Gandhi
According to Merriam-Webster, a priority is…
priority | pri·or·i·ty | noun
1: something that is more important than other things and that needs to be done or dealt with first
2: the things that someone cares about and thinks are important
With that in mind, think about your so-called “priorities” and what you proactively take action on. Do they match up? What steps can you take to bring these two closer together? Perhaps you might have to give up some not-so-important things to get there?
It takes time; however, once you are able to fizzle out some of the non-sense and truly put your blue chips first, you will become much happier and less burdened by ALL the things!
Founder of LIFe – Lose It Forever
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