Is your to-do list getting in your way?

Guest post by W4C3 Coach, Cory Thomsen

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If you have a practice of keeping a running list of the things you need to get done, I challenge you to STOP IT. (Except for groceries!)

Here’s why.

Unfinished tasks lead to intrusive, irrational thoughts – a huge drain on our energy. And, as you know, the list is never-ending!

Good news. There’s an alternative approach to gettin-er-done that’s much more life giving, but first…a reminder.

You’re a human being. Not a human doing.

When my daughter got so frustrated at her clothes not cooperating with the hangers, she got overwhelmed and nothing she tried was working to hang them up. Ever feel like this? I know I do, so I invited her to lie down and played with her hair until her breathing slowed. After a few minutes of quiet, she was able to finish hanging her clothes happily and easily.

When we feel overwhelmed, it’s because we’ve disconnected from our state of being. Building in moments of stillness throughout the day to breathe, meditate and reflect, helps re-balance our brains so we can do the things we want to in a way that’s infused with intention and positivity.

Dance it out.

It’s hard to be still with a thousand to-dos dancing around in our heads. First, take a few minutes to write everything down. Circle or highlight your essentials from the tasks that would be ”nice to get done,” and scratch EVERYTHING off that isn’t aligned with your values and big picture goals. (Then get up and dance a jig because with that last one you just created time.)

Death to the to-do list.

Here’s the mantra: “What doesn’t get scheduled, doesn’t get done.”

Now, put all those to-dos into your calendar. Be realistic, and build in time for creativity, socializing, and stillness. As I’ve done this, what initially feels impossible materializes before my eyes. And here’s the most important part – start with self-care. Because what you say you’ll try to squeeze in, always gets squeezed out.

We’ve been conditioned to be great task masters. But just because we’ve learned we can do anything, doesn’t mean we should do everything. More productive does NOT = happier. It simply goes against our nature, and eventually all that doing catches up with us, steering us into unproductive places.

So let’s get out of our own way, ok?  Allow desired feelings to do the navigating.

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