If your list is anything like mine it’s filled with normal activities that you do to keep your household running, and/or things going smoothly at your job, or possibly making everything work with your kids busy schedules. Do you find that as you work through that list you feel fun, joy, calm, or fulfillment? Something tells me your answer might be no.
Many of us make a list mentally or on paper to keep track of everything we want to get done each day. We think that by crossing things off that list we somehow have conquered the day. I am woman. Hear me roar! Then we fall into bed exhausted but not fulfilled. And that’s it. The next day comes, another to-do list, and the same process starts over again.
Many of the clients I work with think that if they don’t get their to-do list accomplished the world will fall apart. Their world will fall apart. It never does. Think about the last time you were sick and could not actually accomplish what was on your list. Are you still here, breathing, the world still spinning? Thought so.
As women we notoriously make lists so long most human beings could not possibly get through them in a day much less a week.
Then we beat up on ourselves mentally for not being able to get everything done. Sound familiar?
So here are some awesome tips to help you more sanely, effectively, and joyfully manage your to-do list.
- What’s most important? You must ask yourself this question first. Because if what is on your to-do list does not fall under a “this is super-duper important to me” category, then you must ask yourself why it is on your list? It’s your life, your list. Own it.
- Bag it- What on your list can you cross off without doing anything? I’m not kidding. If anything on your list is not something that brings you a sense of joy or freedom, Don’t. Do. It. Period. What’s the point? See tip #1.
- Barter it- Do you have something on your list that you hate to do but your significant other or a friend loves to do? Swap duties. Give them yours and then you can return the favor by doing something you’re good at and they hate. Why not? We all have different talents and like doing different things, so share the love.
- Better it- Since everything in life is a choice some to-do list items we choose not to bag or barter, and do them. BUT, why not make doing them more fun or enjoyable? Listen to your favorite CD while doing laundry. Take 3 deep long breaths between activities. Do a downward dog. Have a small piece of chocolate. Appreciate how talented you are and tell yourself regularly. Give yourself 10 minutes to read your favorite book. You aren’t a machine. You are a human being who can only do so much and still feel good.
- Boldly take charge- If you chose not to do an item on your list, would it matter in 5 minutes, 5 weeks, or 5 months? Great litmus test. So often we do things because we have always done them or think we should do them. In the back of our heads our mother is nagging us saying, “this will not turn out well if you don’t do it”. Really? Thank your mother for her input and then make the decision that it’s your life.
You get to choose how you spend your time. Freaked out or filled with purpose? I choose purpose. You?
Thank you for spending some of your time with me today. I really do appreciate it and hope you found it helpful.
As always, take from here what works for you, share with your friends if you think they might benefit, and the rest, you can leave behind.
P.S. How have you made your to-do list more enjoyable, less stressful? Fun ideas help us all. Leave a comment below or email me, firstname.lastname@example.org