"Oh man, I have so much to do."
How many times do you say that? Often? More times in a week than you care to count?
Seriously, at this moment, I feel like have so much to do and instead of doing it, I am writing.
*I can hear the procrastinators in the back slow clapping*
Making big moves in life (starting a business or new job, new health routine, relocating, etc.) requires a lot of work. No doubt about it.
You know what else does? LIFE! The day-to-day stuff piles up faster than we realize sometimes.
I actually hate saying that I have “sooooo much to do” for three reasons:
Everyone is busy.
It only gives it energy. Words matter. It makes me feel like I have this monumental task list I have to get done when in reality, yes, things need to get done, but let’s be real, it’s not life or death.
Little, if any, is time sensitive (You'll get it done, Leah. Relax.)
You might do what I do when I feel overwhelmed:
I head straight to the pantry or fridge, check social media, distract myself with TV or better yet find other things to do and do those things that aren’t on my list in the first place. Do you do this too? At this moment, I’m literally thinking of doing a face mask right now instead of tackling my list of to-dos. Apparently my pores need to be purged right now!
Make a list.
I like lists. The feeling of crossing things off is great- yes! I accomplished something. Also, lists can be great for “getting it all out” and down on paper; helps free up the brain space. So I do use lists. However, I have to be careful with lists for the following reasons:
First, I typically put the end goal not the steps it takes to getting there.
For example, “Refinance student loans” That is not an easy thing to cross off like “change the sheets on the bed.” To refinance my loans, I have to:
Log into my account and actually pull up my info and a find a phone number to call
CALL them to see what my options are
Read the forms and figure out what info they want or any additional documentation I”ll need to gather
Decide whether to print out the forms or do it online. Printing and mailing will require a trip to the post office - doing it online will require either searching for a past login/password or creating a new one and let’s be real, creating new profiles sucks!
Weighing the costs and benefits of refinancing or not
UGH! Why is life so haaaard!
Secondly, lists typically has us measure our day by tasks completed.
My day will not suck if I only get 5 things done and have also: worked out, called my Gma, meditated and had lunch with a friend. I would much rather have my day look like that than to have gotten 18 things done on my list. And no, I’m adding the things I LIKE to do to my list, reducing them to a box checked.
Yes, getting things done on the list reduces stress, but if they’re not time sensitive, why stress? They’ll get done.
Nothing gets done when you avoid altogether or make unrealistic lists.
So here's my advice to that I've been giving to myself, which I will share with you when things need to get done:
MAKE A LIST of realistic small goals that build to larger ones - OR - better yet, make a “got done” list where you write down everything you actually did that day. Seeing it on paper is actually pretty awesome. “Hey, I did get stuff done today!”
ASK FOR HELP. At times, I can reign as Queen of the "I Can Handle It Club," but I am certainly getting better (and better is better than nothing at all). If there are things that you can delegate or pay someone to do, do it. It takes practice sometimes to loosen control, but the more you do it, the better you'll get at it. The time gained and the lessened stress are quite a payoff.
RELAX. Breathe. It’ll get done. As long as you’re taking action - no matter how small, it’ll get done. And most importantly, don’t forget the most important things in life likely aren’t on your list- call your grandma, go for a run, and for gosh darn it, smell the roses.