Friday, January 21, 2011

Forget The To Do List, It's All About The Done List!

I am a miserable victim of "To Do" lists. I write down EVERYTHING that needs to be done and then freak out at the sheer gravity of it all, knowing hours of endless work lie ahead of me. With no idea of how to get the energy harnessed I frenzy myself into crazy mode, forcing myself to get a grip and take that figurative "relax" pill. When something approaches a deadline I do get it done and am able to function through life this way, just not very cheerfully or peacefully. Well yesterday I had enough. Thoughts, obligations, ideas, necessary transactions, appointments and responsibilities were swirling around my head and I yelled STOP! Stop with the endless amount of obsessing and dissatisfaction I put on myself. Let it go...

Clothes are always going to need washing, toilets are always going to need cleaning, dinner is always going to need cooking and calling the insurance guy about the mix-up in billing is something that should be taken care of immediately. So in the interest of truly flipping my thinking I took a moment at the end of the day yesterday and wrote down what I did accomplish. I did not compare and contrast this with my "to do" list, just paid attention that amidst the madness of my life, where I constantly feel like a hamster spinning around on a wheel to nowhere, I took a moment and looked at the positive. I had gotten more than a few things done, more than it felt like. So I think I am gonna try this out for a while. That big ugly master to-do list is hidden in the back of a drawer and I am marking down each day what I DID accomplish, not what I did not.

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  1. That is a wonderful idea Leah - I think I should start a Done List - Going to mention it to my friend Molly as well, we both seem to think that we haven't accomplished anything, but when we stop and look back...we really did get stuff done! Thanks for the idea! Love ya!

  2. I do the same thing Leah, took me a while to get to this point and some days its easier said than done and I have to be sure I stick up for myself when others ( like those I live with) make insinuations about what is not done.... I have to try real hard to keep my head up. Its all worth it. Life style modifications. :)

  3. Great idea Leah...I've always been "the glass is half empty type" so maybe I'll realize that I'm not such a BUM after all. Thank you!

  4. Yes! This is THE perfect post. Leah- you absolutely rock my socks off. :)

  5. Leah, it is wonderful to see that you have let go of the "to do list". My therapist told me to set just one goal each day and work up from there, to focus on the Present, let go of the Past and look forward to the surprises of the Future. With our illnesses we can't afford to dwell on something we didn't do, just seems to make things worse. The anxiety triggers the nerves that makes our muscles flip out and hurt!! So focus on the task at hand and let go of the rest!