29 Mar Tossing the to-do list
I have always been a list person, like a physical list on a random piece of paper (that I often lose). I know there are so many great apps on my phone for something much more organized but there is something about putting it down on paper that I can’t seem to scrap (no pun intended). It’s funny but you can always tell how a persons life is going at that particular time by what is on their lists. When they are long and have several major tasks on them, like “file taxes, apply for passport, get oil changed, vacuum car/car seats- gross, get new license, fill out Statistics Canada survey thats overdue (maybe that’s just on mine) immunize child #3, pick up child #2 at school etc….” it’s probably a week you don’t want to call that person to have coffee. If their list is more on the lines of “buy almonds,” you know this person probably has their s$%# together and will be game for meeting for lunch.
I don’t know why it’s in our nature to make our lists so long and so daunting but it seems we always default to feeling like we have to carry the world. When we are in that state, the items on the list that should always be on the top sometimes get left out… Self care is often always the first to go when things get crazy, exercise being one of them and then when that spiral begins, our nutrition often follows, our sleep suffers, our mood gets worse and we start to be impatient and short with the people in the world that mean the most to us.
In order to really be the best version of ourselves and absolutely to be the most efficient, the only thing that really needs to be on our to do list every day, is looking after ourselves. When we get looked after, whats actually important on that list will get looked after. I’m lucky that my husband gets that for me exercise is a non negotiable. Sometimes laundry has to wait or I may have to forego the post workout shower for a bit (benefits of teaching online lol), but I know that in order to function properly, its just gotta happen. When it does, my productivity level immediately following is incomparable to any other time of the day. I can get more done in the 30 min post exercise then I could in a whole morning where I didn’t get a chance to move. It’s not that I necessarily love exercise when I’m doing it, I can procrastinate like the best of them- trust me.. There have been days I got dressed in my running clothes in the morning and have changed into my pajamas that night having not even broken a sweat that day..but- I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE and am obsessed with the feeling I get after I’m done. I love that high functioning, happier, more patient, diaper changing referee, that I turn into after I move.
So yes it’s so easy to fall into that rut, into that trap or into that spiral where you feel like you are drowning in life lists….but toss them all out right now and make a new one. Scrap the paper (I’m doing it too).. Make a list of the top three most important things in your life. Not things you have to do, just the top three most important non negotiable, absolutely most important things. Then take a look at your schedule and cross out everything on it that you can that takes away from your top three. I bet there are things on there that don’t need to be….like dusting (haha), or going to a meeting you really don’t want to go to but feel guilty and that you should. I will never pretend to have it all together, because you know what, no one does. What I will say, is that I’m growing and learning that as a business owner, a mother, a wife, a daughter, a friend- I can’t do it all by myself, and if I try, my top three will be what suffers. We are always trying to juggle and re adjust and make things work and we can always get better at that. Balance is a tricky word and one I don’t really believe in unless you are talking about trying not to fall over… I believe instead of balance we need to focus on becoming fiercely protective of our top three and anything that disrupts those podium finishers needs to go. It’s a crazy liberating feeling to realize- I do NOT need to carry that on my shoulders- peace out volunteering for a survey, I’ve got a movie night with my kids coming up.
Guilt is a mean emotion and one that can take over our lives if we let it. So don’t!!!! We do not need to slum through our lives. We do not need to carry the world. We do not need to feel exhausted every single day. If you guard your top three, and provided you are in there somewhere too, you will be well on your way to living your best life.