Let’s not belabor the well-known (and often exaggerated) influences of the Mercury Retrograde. Is it a thing? Yes. Is it a pain? Yes. Is the influence and downstream outcomes always negative? No.
In recent years, I’ve leaned into the idea that Mercury Retrograde periods are not only survivable but serve as critical growth cycles creating conditions ripe for development. The mistakes, mishaps, and misfires we encounter force us to pause, process, and react. Seems simple enough, until you take a moment and reflect upon how much space and time you have to actually pause, process, and react.
In a global economy which spins on the axis of constant change, there is little time to play the go-back card. So, we press ahead, making it work. Whatever it is – job, family, finances, health, home, or transportation – we happily lean into autopilot to simplify our lives and make way for the constant barrage of incoming demands. To automate the present so we can better endure the future, we dedicate little time to the maintenance and restoration of our lives.
Enter the Mercury Retrograde. It can feel like that character from the insurance commercials, Mayhem. But, this planetary cycle is reminding us that life cannot operate effectively without inspection and upkeep. As we approach the next cycle, consider setting aside that To Do List and building an intentional Re Do List. Keep track of the new things you want to start so you can revisit those after the Mercury retrograde period while you work from the Re Do List.
Your list should include things that have you’ve skipped, skimmed, faked, fumbled, and forgotten. With Mercury’s influence on communication, learning, speech, writing, humor, logistics, transportation, planning, process, data, and information flow – prioritize these topics. Not sure where to begin? Follow this framework.
Mercury Ro-Do List
1. Find 30 minutes free of distractions (digital and live).
2. Reflect on the areas and aspects of life, mentioned above.
3. Ask yourself: Where am I operating on autopilot? What items have I deferred? What projects did I start and then abandon? What conversations and connections do I need to revisit? Where have I created work-arounds that are inefficient/ineffective? What am I taking for granted? What am I lon
ging to get back to?
4. Create a full list (even if it gets excessively long).
5. Prioritize according to greatest need/risk and potential impact. Rank the list or apply the Eisenhower Matrix (four quadrants based on urgency and importance).
Each day, take a ride in the go-back machine and work through items by priority (not preference). Mercury will give you a nudge if your priorities are off. Without much effort, items needing attention will reappear in your life. Sometimes they appear like Mayhem, other times they come in the form of a gift – a chance to make things right, better, more sustainable, more beautiful. Don’t let t the mayhem moments prevent you from embracing the gift of another chance.