Shorten Your To Do List - the Right Way!

Friday, November 05, 2021

I can't even bring myself to show you the rest of this's ridiculous! 

As part of self-care and trying to take better care of my heart (still no answers for those following my journey), I'm examining areas of my life where I can step back or slow down. I'm still making lists, but I'm learning how to shorten them. 

A fellow busy mum dropped me a text this week saying:


I hadn't actually thought of it that way. I stepped back and gave it some thought (while sipping water, since I have cut my coffee intake back considerably...grumble grumble). Historically I felt like my lists had been the key to my success. The key to my ability to hold down 5 jobs while raising 6 kids (an aging mother as well), and running a farm. As good as it felt to cross things off those lists every day, was I also feeling like I was drowning? The more thought I gave it, the more I realized the carry over from those lists was indeed making me feel something other than joy and accomplishment. Drowning was a good word because I was starting the following day with an even longer list including what hadn't been finished the day before. Could my lists be causing me negative feelings? Yikes! 

I'm here to tell you I'm still my worst enemy even though I try to practice positive self talk. 

Here's a plan I came up with to shorten my ToDoList(s) and once you read the bullet points, I'll explain why this is the right way (because I've also done this the wrong way in the past and hopefully you'll learn from my mistakes):

**  Remove anything that doesn't matter to you or anyone else 

**  Before carrying over anything from an unfinished list, ask yourself "is this something that really NEEDS to be done?" 

**  Delegate whenever possible 

The delegate thing could probably be number one - and I'm not just talking about spouses or children helping you. If you have cookies to bake for a bake sale, it might be mutually beneficial to ask a friend to do your baking. It might be something they enjoy and it's an opportunity for them to help you and make a bit of extra money, and you get to take something off your list! As far as carry over, I previously felt like I needed to carry everything over, but if I'm not having company over - I can actually cross that *dust the fan item right off the list and do it right before Thanksgiving...there's not a single person who is going to notice (I guarantee this)! 

Here's the one I wanted to address and I left it first on the list for a reason - Remove anything that doesn't matter to you or anyone else. A few years ago, I removed anything that didn't matter to me and I thought I was so dang smart. Guess what? That was a dumb move...a selfish move at the very least... some of the items I left off my list were important to my husband even though I didn't think they mattered. I'll spare you the details, but check with those closest to you before crossing too much off your list. You may not care about something, but to someone else it may be a very big deal! 

And with that - hugs my dear friend and until next time! You know we love hearing from you - if you don't feel comfortable commenting on this post, feel free to drop us a note - we love that too! ( ) and as always, I'm no expert, so I'm going to ask that you provide me with some answers and ideas:

** What is something you have found helpful in shortening your to do list?
** Do you use a to do list? Why or why not?
** How do you help yourself feel good - what is your favorite form of self care?



Today's blogger is Crystal J. Casavant-Otto who is a hot mess of a momma and dairy farmer enjoying her little corner of the cornfield in frigid Wisconsin this fall! (and she's trying to remember tomorrow's time change so she isn't an hour early for church!)


Renee Roberson said...

Crystal--There are a lot of things I've had to let go due to working full time from home and trying to be there for my kids' activities. I've prioritized cooking and meal planning and don't stress so much about having a spotless house all the time. It may get a good cleaning 2x a month if we're lucky, but like you've said, no one is bothered by it. I also had to let one of my editing projects go because the money was not worth the anxiety and stress that extra workload was causing me.

Sue Bradford Edwards said...

I laughed so hard at your comment about the ceiling fan - but really? It would bother me. A little.

The reality is that each and every one of us can only do so much. And something that you need to do? Take care of yourself.

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