In my last blog post, I wrote about how keeping a daily gratitude journal has changed my outlook on things. I do recommend that you try it out! Another change that I made to my life the last year is breaking free from the to-do lists. Those lists that never ever end. When you cross out one to-do, two new ones are added. You end up living your life via a string of to-dos.
I got to a point when I felt as if I was drowning. That I could barely keep my nose above water. Every evening shoveling to-dos that had not been completed to the next day. Feeling stressed out that I hadn’t accomplished anything. With 3 kids in the household, there is always something to do. Tons of laundry to wash and fold. The constant stream of filling up and emptying the dishwasher. The endless picking up toys that are all over the place. Not to mention maintaining the house and garden. To keep these things going, find time for the family and find time for myself felt as an impossible equation. Guess who draws the shortest straw?
After reading some inspirational books I came to the conclusion that I had to make a change. I examined my to-do lists and scratched everything that wasn’t absolutely necessary. Stripping them down to a bare minimum.
I also decided not to be so frantic about cleaning the house. Since we have a huge house, this could easily take up most of my time. Why are we so obligated to keeping the house clean? A little dust in the corners literally hasn’t killed anyone. It’s as if a spotless house is the proof of a flawless soul. Someone with good character. When guests come over and we feel that the house is not up to the inspection, we tend to start making excuses already from the beginning. You know, things are a little hectic right now so we haven’t had time to clean. Who cares?! To me, a little dust in the corners is a sign that this is someone who values other things in life. Perhaps getting some writing done.
So instead of those infinite to-do lists, try using themes instead. With themes, you’ll naturally know what the next action is to keep moving forward. I tried using themes to guide my daily doings. And it’s worked splendidly! I feel more relaxed. I don’t get blocked even if there is a lot to do. I still have some things on my to-do list. But now that list doesn’t drown me anymore. I’m in control of it, not the other way around. I don’t just keep shuffling things to the next day.
So from now on, I will live my life by themes. Not as a string of endless to-dos. Try it out for yourself. Then throw away that to-do list!