How many things are on your to-do list? Chances are there are more things on there than you will be able to get finished. We somehow manage to put more things on our list than we are able to do. And everyone is always trying to get you to even more!
I love having lists of things. Daily lists, weekly lists, yearly lists, lists for vacations, lists for project plans, shopping lists, etc. I make lists for all sorts of things. Writing things down helps me stay on track and focused. I use sticky notes and little slips of paper, notes on my calendar pages, little notepads in my purse and in my car just in case I need to write something down. I am always looking for that perfect system to keep me on track. I wonder if there is a perfect system?
One thing I noticed awhile back, is that I have some things that were on my list a really long time, that just never got done, but still kept getting moved to the next new list I created. I had great intentions of doing these things. Honest. I wanted to do them, or at least I thought I did. I just never seemed to get around to it. I was feeling a bit guilty about not doing these things, a bit like I wasn’t doing as much as I should be doing. I know some of you feel the same way. You can never get everything done that needs to be done. You always have things that get moved to the next new list and the next new list and the next one…..
Here’s the radical thing. I just decided to stop putting those things on my list. Clearly, I wasn’t doing them, and was only moving them around. But the fact that I never seemed to actually do certain things was making me feel guilty and stressed out! But once I stopped moving them from list to list, I immediately felt less stress.
I figured that some things were not really a big priority for me, otherwise I would have finished them. So now if I actually get those things done it will be a bonus for me, but I am no longer moving them from list to list.
So this week’s challenge is to take something off your to-do list. It’s OK if you do it. I give you permission. Most of us are constantly thinking of more things to put on our to-do list, and thus we create the stress ourselves because we can’t ever finish our lists and feel bad about it. Very few of us actually look for ways to remove items from our lists. We think that means we aren’t doing our fair share or getting things done that nobody else will do. But you know what? Probably nobody will even notice if you don’t do those things. And you will feel a bit lighter for having less on your list.
So go ahead and do it. Take something off your list. But you have to really mean it. Don’t just take it off the list this week and put it back on next week. Take it off and forget about it completely!! I bet this is harder for some of you than actually adding more stuff to your list.