There is so much to do. It’s a full-time job to make sure that nothing on the to-do list slips through the cracks. Peaceful showers, sound sleep, conversations, and romantic dinners are interrupted by a sudden thought about what you must remember to do later.
Lists are scattered around your office, house, computer, and head about all the things that have to be done this week, this month, this year, and this lifetime. It can get very overwhelming.
I personally love making lists. They get the actions out of my mind, and I feel safe knowing that they are safely kept on paper and in my Mac.
But I’m not a slave to my lists.
I use them to remind me of ideas and inspired actions that I’ll get to when the time is right. But there was a time when those lists caused me great anxiety. I felt I would never get it all done and therefore I could not relax nor feel successful. My belief was that if I took all the “right” actions, it would result in all of the perfect outcomes in my life.
Luckily, I had two coaches who set me straight:
The late beloved Anthea Francine and Laura Whitworth.
They supported me in two things: being present and finding my peace from within, not in the circumstances outside of me.
It was a struggle for me to let go of the anxiety of trying to control my life. It was truly uncomfortable for me to rest easy and relax knowing there was so much I thought I had to get done.
I was crawling out of my skin… like kicking any addiction. I didn’t know what to do with myself if I wasn’t taking care of everything and everyone.
Getting stuff done is not an age-old problem. This epidemic has spread significantly in the last twenty-five years. People are racing around physically and mentally until they drop from exhaustion. Ahem. Does this sound like a fulfilling way to live?
I notice that many of my clients complain about this disease. Some of them are so used to their busy-ness that they don’t even see that their life could be more relaxed. Another way this disease appears is when you continually try to figure out what your next action is so that you can manifest results.
The symptoms of being ruled by to-do’s…
- Not trusting that what you’re doing is enough.
- Feeling guilty about what you are not getting done.
- Not taking enough time to really chill out.
- Health issues and/or weight gain.
- Feeling totally out of balance.
- Feeling like there is no way to stop all the doing because nobody else can take care of all this stuff.
- Inability to be present. If you’re at home, you think about work, and vice versa.
- Believing that if you get more organized, you’ll be able to get it all done.
What would it feel like to loosen your grip about needing to get it all done?
What would it feel like to sit in joy even when things are not done?
What if you stopped trying to figure out the perfect actions to take?
What about trusting the timing?
What if you paid yourself first with time spent just for you?
If you feel the pressure of not doing enough, I dare you to let go of the to-do lists and the guilt. To-do lists have their place. I choose no more than six things to focus on from my lists at any given time.
When I’m in action, I only focus on the task at hand. I enjoy it. If the action or project takes longer than I had planned for, I simply get back to it when I can. I appreciate the time I did spend on it rather than what I didn’t do. I’m a big fan of taking baby steps, as well as big ones. It’s a matter of what feels best in the moment.
What’s more important to you, the quality of your life or the quantity of actions done? The funny thing is that when you focus on the quality of your life above all else, amazing things get done.