This is a tip I picked up from my yoga class. Make a list of all the things you “should” do.
- I should call my mother more often.
- I should clear out those old books on my desk.
- I should prepare more vegetables for my son.
Now, replace all of the “should”s with “could”s. Do you see how that completely changes the task in question. Now all of your tasks are presented as choices, as actions you can choose to take or not take.
- I could call my mother more often. I will call her tomorrow afternoon.
- I could clear out those books on my desk but it will take a few weeks at the shortest. Instead, I think it is better to focus on my writing project first and go through the books one by one.
- I could prepare more vegetables for my son, but it will take a little bit of extra planning and experimentation. I could pencil that into my schedule for next Monday.