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Carry-Overs On The To-Do List

Uh huh, you know what I’m talking about. The top item on your to-do list every morning that you secretly hope you can find a way out of accomplishing. With me it doesn’t even have to be a hard task. Sometimes it is an embarrassingly small task but I push it to the side.

This morning when I decided to write this post I tried to get inspired by accomplishing two feats that I’ve been avoiding for the last few days. They took about ten minutes. Not much energy, no sweat and now they are done. Disappointing really. They really should have lived up to my fears.

8131014_sIf you are like me you probably have a list of tasks in your every day life that are fine, manageable, maybe even a little enjoyable. Task items that make crossing them off the list satisfying, but take very little will power. You probably also have a list of heavy hitters. The workhorse hours of the day will go toward tasks that involve numerous activities, complicated endeavors and lots of will power.

As a morning person I have a few really powerful hours of the day, but they are usually gone by 10am. Anything after 10am requires willpower and extra focus. So I’ve switched from to-do lists to schedules. Planning out chunks of time and really contemplating how much I will want to tackle a task at each time slot.

Tuesdays are my big work day. I’m home almost all day handling my bookkeeping, advertising, blog-writing and all that herb work. But every Tuesday there is a list of new tasks to add to my old “still-undone” tasks.

A really good blog writer would follow that sentence with something inspiring “Read more to find out how I took control of my life” or “But these five simple steps saved me.” I’m a little too human to have a lifetime of avoidance techniques improved in a morning. So instead I would like to offer contemplation. No solution—just pause.

We are doing this to ourselves. Maybe it is beneficial, maybe it isn’t. I seem to get a lot of stuff done, so maybe my list of unanswered emails or slightly too dirty living room should not register me as a failure of life. Maybe I should accomplish them all and feel great. Or maybe there were too many things on my lists and I set myself up for failure. There certainly isn’t only one answer or one more right answer.

This morning just pause and look at your to-do list strategies. Are there any changes worth making? Are there any behaviors worth appreciating instead of scolding?

Has anyone ever made a “done” list before bed? What would it be like if we really broke down the nitty-gritty of our accomplishments on any given day and prized and appreciated each one?

On Saturday we went for a three-hour walk around the Smith gardens and all over downtown. Our sole task was experiencing and embracing spring. We stopped and sat on benches. We looked at all the different types of buds, early leaves and blossoming flowers. We held hands and enjoyed the sun and felt very deeply accomplished.

All this to-doing can make it impossible for us to remember how to rest. For the first time in my life, I can literally see and feel my life slowing down. There is simply less to do. Right now on my to-do list the task that feels most complicated is letting things stay on my to-do list that I really don’t need to do. I instead should go for a walk and love spring. That is the better use of my time.

Image credit: epantha / 123RF Stock Photo

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