It's easy to forget that we are all perfect in our own design. Sometimes we muck it up with habits and choices that do not serve us.
Have your to-do lists gotten out of hand? Could they easily be mistaken for a short novel? Hey, friend, I’m not judging. I get it. To-do lists keep us focused, right? They keep us moving in a forward direction. Or, do they?
For several years, I took pride in having a long to-do list because it meant I was setting goals. As a writer of several fiction books, I always have some project that I’m in the middle of, another project that I’m just beginning, and a crazy amount of marketing that always needs to be done.
So, in order to accomplish these tasks, I always had three or four to-do lists going at one time. Let me just give you a quick idea of what these lists included:
Are you exhausted reading this? I don’t blame you. I’m exhausted writing about and remembering these stupid lists. That’s right! My to-do lists were stupid. They were pointless because they weren’t getting me any closer to my goals, just closer to a breakdown.
My turning point came one evening within the four corners of my yoga mat. Here I realized I needed to be intentional with my time. For me, that meant focusing on three things each day that mattered for my business, my self care, and my family. Once I decided to focus on creating an intentional to-do list, I discovered the following.
Nothing was getting done because I wasn’t focused on what needed to be done in the moment. I tended to use my to-do list as a dream list. It was so forward focused that all I ever saw was the big picture with so many steps from now to the end that it was overwhelming. I need to stop working for tomorrow and focus on today.
Usually, when I completed the long list I created for myself on any given day, I felt exhausted by evening. My eyes hurt from being on the computer all day. My shoulders ached because I have horrible posture at my desk. And, I still felt like I was so far from reaching my goals. In fact, as soon as I would check something off my list, I’d add another to-do at the end. How can you ever feel a sense of completion when the list keeps growing? My friends, when I really looked at my to-do list I realized it wasn’t a list at all. It was a blackhole sucking me into nowhere.
Are you being sucked into nowhere?
Here’s the deal. For many people, lists keep us organized and on track. If we use them intentionally, we achieve goals and feel a sense of accomplishment. When we abuse lists, we turn into zombies. We turn into people who have no sense of completion because our lists never end. How is that helping us?
If you’re a to-do lister, I challenge you to take a look at your lists and find a way to pare down them down. Stop spreading yourself thin. You’re not butter. You’re a person. A person who needs time to breathe, soak in the sun, and feel like your life is worth so much more than words on paper. I promise you’ll get everything that’s important done. The rest is just noise. Turn down the volume and walk away from it. You’ll be happier and that’s always the best accomplishment.
Tell us about your to-do list? How are you setting intentional lists? Share in the comments or on social media. We’d love to get your tips!
Join Panache Desai every morning and for support in reconnecting to the wellspring of calm and peace that lives within you and that has the power to counterbalance all of the fear, panic, and uncertainty that currently engulfs the world.
Designed To Move You From Survival and Fear to Safety and Peace
...on all things life, wellness, love, transformation and spirituality...
PLUS! Get your FREE Guide: 12 Mindfulness Practices to a Peaceful Mind