I LOVE lists. Grocery lists, lists of books to read, Christmas present idea lists for what I should get my little loves, etc. But I am sad to admit, that I used to spend quite some time making and completing daily "to -do" lists. My lists were insane. I would have so many items on there. I would stay up until 4 in the morning trying to complete them all, just to get back up at 6 or 7 and do it all over again. I was running ragged, losing my mind.... just to complete the "to-do" list. And in the end, was every item on there done? NO! No matter what, I always came up with more that I "had" to do. And then I started to fall apart. Now I am tired. I have no energy. My stomach no longer likes any foods... well at least it seems, because most days my hands are swollen, my stomach is swollen, my head hurts. The list goes on and on. And it was because of STRESS.
I thought I needed the lists to keep it all together. I thought that without the lists, I would forget all of the most important things. Instead, "to-do" lists caused unneeded stress in my already stressful life. They created some sort of urgency over things that don't always matter. I had folding laundry in the same list as completing a work project. I guess, maybe my "to-do" lists were a problem, but I have a feeling that there are others out there as well that do the same thing with their lists. And I bet that list, no matter how much you love it's organized beautiful look, is causing you extra stress.
I have since changed my ways. I have a weekly appointment book. Inside, I write appointments for work meetings, and deadlines for projects. I do have to make sure I don't over book myself. However, I no longer list the extras. Laundry, dishes, even grocery shopping are no longer on any lists. I no longer stress about every work project I have going on every day or every last detail of keeping my house clean. Maybe I don't have time to fold the laundry because after a 10 hour work day, I spent a few minutes grounding, dry brushing, soaking in sun, playing with my three little loves.... And I no longer feel guilty about that.
I still finish projects on time. However, I don't try to work on each one every single day. Instead, I work on the one due the soonest or the one that I am feeling the most open to working on, that one that I am the most inspired about that day. Sometimes the ideas are flowing, and I have to jump on it! Sometimes they are not, and I have to realize that too and use my energy in a more efficient way.
Getting rid of my "to-do" list has helped me to focus on what is important to me. I am living more. I am out and breathing in fresh air, smiling and playing more.
Now, I know that sometimes you need some help keeping organized. And I am not saying that getting rid of the list is the best option for everyone. However, I would like you to stop and ask yourself if your "to-do" list is really helping you get it all done or is it creating a monster that will never end and keeps you down away from living your life.
Let me know what you think.